Experts: CBC Is Good, But Its Implementation Is the Issue

Even though a task group is still gathering public feedback on the contentious educational system, education experts have criticized the government for the way it has implemented the Competency Based Curriculum (CBC).

This month, the work committee headed by President William Ruto started making trips to all 47 counties to get feedback on how CBC may be made better from the general people and various stakeholders.

However, even though some education specialists believe the switch from the 8-4-4 system to the CBC is a positive one, they have found flaws in how the curriculum has been implemented.

The experts who featured on Citizen TV’s Day Break program on Tuesday identified a number of flaws, including a lack of preparation, under the direction of former Migori Woman representative Dr. Pamela Odhiambo.

“The CBC’s overarching concept is not horrible. But right from the start, the question we keep coming back to is when it happened. It was brought up by several academics and organizations that care. The problem was in rushing to implement it without considering all of the requirements and how it would affect different stakeholders. The youngsters on our trip will eventually come to a stop, even if we close our eyes and keep going, stated Dr. Odhiambo.

Kuria Kimani, a member of parliament from Molo, agreed with Odhiambo and focused on what he perceived as a dearth of sufficient public input prior to the introduction of the new curriculum.

“The concept was wonderful, but the execution was the issue. When it comes to public involvement, he stated, “Mama Mboga on the street is highly dangerous because she is the one who has been doing the child’s schoolwork.

This is a terrific curriculum, but how will it be put into practice and how prepared are we? Because there was supposed to be a swimming lesson but the school lacked a pool, there is a film clip of youngsters swimming in the sand,” he continued.

The MP asserts that in order to prevent students from being disadvantaged, the CBC task committee should provide clear guidance on everything required to assist the implementation of the curriculum.

Janet Ouko reiterated his thoughts when she stated that the secondary schools are currently ill-equipped to handle junior secondary students with the start of the 2023 academic year only two months away.

Given that they would be expected to prepare their children starting in January of next year, she noted that parents are likewise lost regarding the way forward.

“We cannot wait until December to let them know we are moving forward with CBC, and there are also other duties the ministry should take on since I understand there are books that have not yet been printed, as well as the problems with budgeting,” added Ouko.

“If we don’t see a lot of readiness, January will be very difficult for parents and students,”

Ouko criticized the current public involvement effort, calling it pretentious and claiming that it does not include a significant portion of Kenya’s “ordinary” population, which the government claims to represent in the forums.

“What folks are you talking about when you look at a situation where you travel to Nairobi and want to meet up with people at Taifa Hall in the University of Nairobi? Although it has been suggested that we are speaking to mama mbogas, she remarked, “I don’t think you can speak to the millions of people in Nairobi in one gathering.

Ouko claims that “exaggerations” of the exercise’s scope have been a defining feature of it.

There are some curriculum development issues that cannot be discussed in a public setting. That is, regrettably, the reality. There are those who claim to want to speak with Mama Moggas, but since curriculum development is a specialist matter, we need to know exactly what is being discussed with the people, she added.

“You can’t pick somebody off the street and take them to KICD. Since we are dealing with our children’s future, we must be honest with the public, Ouko continued.

All regional education directors are required to invite significant education sector stakeholders, such as governors, county commissioners and other administrative officers, representatives of primary and secondary school heads, trade unions and parents’ representatives, faith-based organizations, among others, to the meeting, according to a letter sent to all regional education directors regarding public participation.

The task force has divided its 49 members into 10 working teams in order to accomplish the six-month timeframe that has been established.

The task force is also required to assess and recommend a suitable finance mechanism, including capitation and minimum essential package grants for all levels of basic education, in the gazette notice dated September 29, 2022.

The task force is also required to study and make recommendations regarding a framework for the National Open University of Kenya’s operationalization as well as a framework for open distance and online learning (ODEL).

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