CBC: Court gives Magoha 45 days to respond to suit

Grade 4 CBC exams

Grade 4 pupils solve a word puzzle at Nyeri Good Shepherd School on March 8, 2021. 

Photo credit: Joseph Kanyi | Nation Media Group

The fate of a suit challenging the legality of the Competency Based Curriculum (CBC) will be known after 45 days when Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha presents his response.

While seeking time to file a response to the petition filed by a parent, Senior Counsel Philip Murgor told Justice Antony Mrima that over 8 million children already undertaking the CBC will be affected by the outcome of the case.

“Prof Magoha is the beginning and the end of this petition in which he has been sued in his personal capacity and as CS Education for violating the Constitution,” said Mr Murgor.

The petitioner in the case, Ms Esther Ang’awa, is seeking orders to bar the CS from holding public office for violating the supreme law of the land.

“Prof Magoha is the team leader in implementing the CBC and requires humble time to answer each and every averment in Ms Ang’awa’s petition,” said Mr Murgor.

The former Director of Public Prosecutions said he is contemplating calling viva vorca evidence in the case where all the named parties will testify in court.

“There can be no hurry in determining this petition,” added Mr Murgor.

In the suit, five parties have sought to be enjoined in the petitione filed by LSK President Nelson Havi on behalf of Ms Ang’awa.

Those seeking to join the suit are the Kenya Private Schools Association, representing over 10,000s schools, Kepsha, Katiba Institute, National Parents Association and Mr John Ndiru.

Mr Havi told the judge he has served all interested parties with the suit papers.

All the parties seeking to be enjoined plus the defendants sought to be given seven days each to answer the issues raised in the petition by Mr Havi.

Senior counsel Fred Ngatia is appearing for Interior CS Dr Fred Matiang’i.

In a brief ruling, Justice Mrima directed all parties to file evidence within 45 days. He directed the application for jointer of new parties to be heard first on October 22, 2021.

He said the question of the number of judges who will hear the monumental suit will be determined after all the parties file responses.

Mr Havi wants Chief Justice Martha Koome to appoint more than five judges to determine the case, which he says raises serious constitutional issues.

In her petition, Ms Ang'awa wants the court to bar the state from further implementation of CBC pending hearing and determination of her case. 

However, the judge has not suspended the CBC.

The petitioner has named Prof Magoha, Dr Matiang'i, the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development, the Kenya National Examination Council and Teachers Service Commission as defendants.

The petitioner argues that their actions in introducing CBC is an affront to the Constitution.

She wants the Education ministry to revert to the 8-4-4 system.