What you need to know:
- Although it was poorly thought out and haphazardly implemented, it, nevertheless, has its benefits.
- Unlike 8-4-4, learners are always expecting and encountering new learning experiences.
- It is a learner-centred practical curriculum as opposed to the teacher-centred theoretical 8-4-4 system.
Regular review of a curriculum ensures its relevance to the market demands.
It can be necessitated by new research findings, changing world education trends or community needs.
Unfortunately, there are instances the curricular changes have been driven by political views.
Top-down curriculums ignore the consumers; parents and their children, teachers and school administrators as well as informed specialists’ opinions.
Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) outlines nine core steps that are cyclic in nature.
The first is needs assessment where public participation is engaged and research findings incorporated.
That informs policy formulation. Planning or designing follows. This is followed by the development of syllabi.
Support materials are prepared which are utilised to train curriculum implementers.
Phasing in also referred to as piloting/pre-testing is conducted. When sure of viability, national implementation is rolled out.
Subsequently, monitoring and evaluation are regularly conducted. Research by experts in education is crucial in the whole process.
The many challenges bedevilling CBC notwithstanding, it should not be discarded.
Although it was poorly thought out and haphazardly implemented, it, nevertheless, has its benefits.
Positive behaviours and living values are inculcated in learners. Life survival skills are acquired as children undertake various hands-on activities.
Unlike 8-4-4, learners are always expecting and encountering new learning experiences. It is a learner-centred practical curriculum as opposed to the teacher-centred theoretical 8-4-4 system.
The success of any business entrepreneurship is as good as its leadership. Most educational problems are caused by a lack of appropriate professionally trained personnel at the helm of the ministry.
To remedy this, a qualified educationist should be appointed as a Cabinet Secretary (CS).
No government ministry should be headed by a political sycophant. To do that is an insult to the professionally trained workforce.
Likewise, all other levels of education management must be headed by trained teachers. Anything less will jeopardise the curriculum review and implementation.
It is important to admit that it is not possible to have a double intake in our congested public secondary schools.
In addition, learners in grade 6 are too young to transit to secondary schools in new environments.
To mitigate these two concerns, junior secondary grades 7, 8 and 9 should be retained in the primary school until there is adequate space in our secondary schools.
The majority of highly coveted national and extra-county schools are full beyond capacity.
Classes that are supposed to accommodate 40 students now have 50-60 students. Schools have been forced to introduce extra streams, thanks to a policy on 100 per cent transition to secondary schools.
Most primary schools have a lot of idle classrooms that can be utilised.
Assessment in CBC needs to be reviewed to ensure it is above board and minimises biases.
In December this year, the Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC) shall administer a summative assessment to grade 6 pupils.
This evaluation will cater for only 40 per cent of the overall assessment with 60 per cent coming from formative assessments by teachers.
William Glaser's Choice Theory purports that freedom of choice is inherent in human beings hence individuals are prone to act in ways that favour them.
Bearing in mind the cutthroat competition for limited spaces in ‘best’ secondary schools, teachers are likely to have been very lenient.
In addition, teachers need to be retooled to be more effective. Teachers were hurriedly and sketchily undertaken through seminar-like sensitization.
Instead of the infamous Teacher Development Programme (TPD), serious training workshops should be organised to build the capacity of teachers to interpret curriculum designs and facilitate learning.
While parental engagement and empowerment are noble ideas, the parents are overburdened.
Parents are expected to monitor as well as facilitate the learning of their children after school.
Learning resources they are expected to provide are not readily available, hence many have to buy. With the high cost of living, this is expecting too much from parents
On the other hand, all education stakeholders should be well-sensitized.
The involvement of teachers' unions, heads of institutions and faith-based organizations as well as private investors in education is crucial.
They should be empowered on matters CBC since they are essential partners with the government.
Boards of management should be trained on relevant strategies of resource mobilizing. Elected leaders together with local administration, as well as religious leaders and opinion influencers, can play an important role in education support and community sensitization.
Dr Wanjohi is an educational consultant and currently a lecturer at Kenyatta University. [email protected]