No turning back on CBC, says President Kenyatta
President Uhuru Kenyatta has defended one of his legacy projects, the Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC) declaring that there is no turning back with respect to the educational reforms that have faced opposition from some stakeholders.
In his Madaraka Day address, President Kenyatta enumerated his achievements in the education sector but dwelt more on his signature project in education, explaining that it was conceived out of the need to match the aspirations of the nation.
“The challenge of the day calls us to imagine a system that creates responsible citizens as opposed to subjects, a system that celebrates the creative potential of all our children as opposed to one that leaves them with labels of failure if they do not pass exams. A system that brings about freedom to be creative and innovative as individuals,” he said.
CBC was officially introduced in January 2019 to replace the 8-4-4 system which has been in place since 1985. Apart from the curriculum change, the structure has also changed to 2-6-6-3 (two years of pre-primary, six of primary, six of secondary and three of university education).
“Given the manifest successes achieved in this short period of time, there is no turning back with respect to the Competency Based Curriculum,” the President declared.
Pioneer CBC class
The pioneer class is set to exit primary school at the end of November and transition to junior secondary in January 2023. However, there are concerns about the preparedness for the transition, especially in regard to infrastructure, since most secondary schools are already congested.
There have also been questions around teacher training and their adaptation to the change in pedagogy, cost of implementation and learning materials, assessment and placement in junior secondary.
The Kenya Kwanza Alliance, led by Deputy President William Ruto, has promised to revert to 8-4-4 if it wins the August 9 elections. However, Dr Ruto has not explained the fate of the millions of learners who have spent years in the system.
Azimio la Umoja presidential candidate Raila Odinga promises an “education that is appropriate and fits the demands of not just the job market but that responds to what our country needs”.