When the competency-based curriculum was launched, there was excitement among parents and learners.
However, many experts had warned about the operational aspects of the system. They spoke of teacher preparedness and the high cost of learning materials. Well, it’s now emerging that parents need to be trained to supervise their children.
We’ve seen the changing roles of parents from provision to teaching and guiding pupils through their homework every evening.
Many wonder why teachers do not assign the children tasks they can manage on their own. One of the problems is the teacher-learner ratio in public schools. On average, each school has about 15 teachers handling 600 pupils, which puts the ratio at 1:40. This reduces the efficacy levels.
From this, and due to teachers being overworked, one can understand why they have abdicated some of their responsibilities to parents and guardians.
It’s now the responsibility of the government to roll out a programme on how to integrate the crucial aspects of CBC to parents, since they play an integral part in guiding learners at home.
It’s easy to conclude that there was no piloting, or phased implementation of the system that would have helped the Ministry of Education to identify some of these challenges early. Going forward, the ministry should encourage parental advocacy and awareness, especially its expected financial implications and operational guidelines.
The CBC system picked some important aspects from the 8.4.4 curriculum, where practicals were encouraged in some subjects such as home science, music, agriculture, and art & craft. For the first time in our history, the government seems to have the right people in the ministry with political goodwill. If fully implemented, CBC shall lift the country to a better level in terms of creativity, engineering and technology.
Michael Orende, Nairobi
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Parents, teachers and learners are struggling to adapt to the CBC system. Its implementation in remote areas faces huge challenges. In some schools, few teachers handle hundreds of pupils, which cannot work with a system that heavily involves practical lessons.
Some schools are forced to borrow books from other institutions. Teachers are also compelled to use their own resources to download and access learning materials. With poor internet connectivity, it’s a daily nightmare. Most parents say they are yet to understand the new curriculum. Some are even considering pushing for the return of the 8-4-4 system.
Josephine Wambui, Maseno University