CBC is here to stay, Uhuru says

President Uhuru Kenyatta

President Uhuru Kenyatta during the Mashujaa Day fete on October 20, 2021. 

Photo credit: Joseph Kanyi | Nation Media Group

President Uhuru Kenyatta yesterday said the government would not abandon the Competency Based Curriculum (CBC) and allocated Sh8 billion for the construction of 10,000 classrooms ahead of the junior secondary school rollout.

The President said the government would continue enriching the curriculum to ensure children are equipped with skills for the future.

The announcement comes despite a campaign by some Kenyans to halt CBC and revert to the 8-4-4 curriculum.

“Grade Five learners have only one year to go. As a government, we need to prepare by ensuring more infrastructure to accommodate them in junior secondary school,” President Kenyatta said during Mashujaa Day celebrations in Kirinyaga county.

A parent is already in court challenging the new school syllabus.

President Kenyatta said more than 8.1 million children are part of the CBC – from Pre-Primary to Grade Five – “and their academic progress cannot be halted”.

He added that more than a million children are in Grade Five and would be expected to join junior secondary in 2023.

Grade Five is the pioneer class of the new curriculum.

Mr Kenyatta said the government has invested heavily in CBC and promised more investments to ensure the success of the education system.

“As a caring government and one that appreciates the solemn duty of the State to prepare children for their destiny, we will continue enriching the curriculum to ensure our children sharpen their talents and maximise opportunities,” Mr Kenyatta said.

He directed the Ministries of Education, Interior and National Treasury to establish a framework of constructing the 10,000 classrooms.

“The Education and Interior ministries should ensure only contractors within the vicinity of every school are engaged so as to stimulate the local economy,” President Kenyatta said.

He asked the two ministries to ensure payments for the classroom construction are made promptly and directly to the contractors.

Economic stimulus

The Treasury was directed to engage the National Assembly and Senate to appropriate the Sh8 billion towards the construction of the classrooms.

President Kenyatta said the money is part of the second phase of the economic stimulus package.

Phase one saw the distribution of 622,357 desks, lockers and chairs to selected primary and secondary schools at a cost of Sh1.9 billion.

Mr Kenyatta said secondary schools have been stretched due to the 100 per cent transition from primary, calling for more infrastructure. He urged lawmakers to prioritise education and consider using the National Government Constituency Development Funds (NG-CDF) to build 10,000 more classrooms.

“To address the gap of the remaining 10,000 classrooms, I call on MPs to stand in solidarity with our children by prioritising allocation of the NG-CDF towards school infrastructure,” the President said.

He added that building the classrooms is timely as it would ensure no child is left behind.

Early this month, Education Cabinet secretary George Magoha said the government plans to put up 20,044 classrooms ahead of the junior secondary rollout.