Keep CBC, Prof Magoha, parents urge President-elect Ruto

Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha

Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha. Parents want the incoming administration to retain him and the Competency Based Curriculum, citing his hands-on approach to management.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Parents want the incoming administration to retain the Competency Based Curriculum (CBC) and Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha, citing his hands-on approach to management.

The National Parents Association (NPA) appealed to President-elect William Ruto not to scrap the new education system but instead streamline it by addressing identified hitches.

The NPA said parents want a smooth transition of learners to junior secondary schools. Some politicians and parents have criticised the CBC programme as too expensive and confusing.

The APA lauded Prof Magoha for his commitment to the CBC, noting that parents are comfortable with him.

“As parents, we want to congratulate President-elect William Ruto on his election as Kenya’s fifth President … We humbly request him to retain Prof Magoha as Education CS to complete the good work that he is doing to ensure a smooth transition to junior secondary,” said NPA chairman Nicholas Maiyo.

Happy with Magoha’s work

Many parents, he said, are happy with the work Prof Magoha has done in revamping the Education ministry, especially in streamlining the Kenya National Examinations Council, resulting in a steady decline in examination malpractices.

The NPA said this is why he should be left to oversee the transition to junior secondary school.

"We know that it is the mandate of the new government to make its own decision, but it is our hope there will be a smooth transition,” Mr Maiyo said.

“The CS is hands-on and acts on issues raised immediately. He is a good administrator. If it is possible for him to continue working for some time, we have no problem."

The NPA plans to make a formal appeal on the matter to the incoming administration once Dr Ruto is sworn in.

Strides made

The association expressed fears that the strides made in enhancing the education curriculum would be watered down if the new government appoints someone who does not have CBC at heart like Prof Magoha.

Mr Maiyo cautioned against any move to abolish CBC, noting that it would demoralise parents, teachers and learners who are already invested in the system.

“Many parents, especially those whose [children] are set to transition from Grade 6 to junior high school, would like the programme to continue as it is, bearing in mind that they have invested heavily in it,” he said.

More than 10 million pupils have been enrolled in the CBC programme countrywide

Prof Magoha has been crisscrossing the country inspecting junior secondary school classrooms whose construction is at 90 per cent complete.

The Ministry of Education says 9,000 of the 10,000 planned classrooms are complete.

Training of teachers

Some of the proposals coming from the parents’ association to the new administration are training teachers, ensuring uniformity and equipping schools adequately.

"Most parents have embraced the CBC programme. It is just a few parents still struggling due to teething problems. Schools undertake assignments differently,” Mr Maiyo said.

“In one school they have a projector while in another there is none, meaning learners struggle when undertaking homework. I think it is time to equip schools with projectors."

The parents also urged the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development to publish clear guidelines on how school assignments should be handled, noting that some parents feel overwhelmed.

The parents lauded CBC, noting that it nurtures talent.

"It is the opinion of most parents that the curriculum should not be interrupted given the investment that has gone into it in the last six years. If there is any improvement, it is welcome, but it should not interfere with successes already achieved," Mr Maiyo added.