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KICD says taking parents’ concerns on CBC implementation seriously

NAIROBI, Kenya Sep 22 – The Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) has assured that it will take into consideration some of the concerns raised by parents over the implementation of the Competency Based Curriculum (CBC) which has sparked outrage in recent weeks.

Already, a petition has been filed in court contesting the programme’s implementation as pressure piles on Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha to review it.

“A curriculum is not fixed on stone; we are cognizant that after every cycle we are supposed to review. We are already working on reviewing the early years up to Grade Three and our quality assurance teams are at work,” said Professor Charles Ong’ondo, KICD Chief Executive Officer.

Some parents feel the programme was hurriedly implemented without public participation from all stakeholders, with some saying it does not promise a good future for learners.

Earlier this week, the KICD CEO said the review process will narrow on early-year levels including Pre-Primary I, Pre-Primary II, and grades One, Two and Three based on feedback received from the field and cross-sectional stakeholders’ inputs.

The curriculum review is in line with the International Bureau of Education under the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) which dictates that after every five years the curriculum should be reviewed.

“I want to assure that we are at Grade Five in implementation of CBC. We start Grade Six in April 2022 and at the end of this, it shall be end of the cycle and we shall start to review,” Prof Ong’ondo noted.

The review process is expected to include all education stakeholders including parents to address some of the teething problems in the new curriculum that was rolled in 2018; after two years of piloting.

“We shall also tour the interior or grassroots to meet parents other than inviting them to our consultative forum,” he stated.

Some of the concerns raised by parents include time allocation for specific subjects and the assignments given to learners.

“We shall be looking the curriculum’s content and ask ourselves whether there might have been an overload at some stages or classes and we shall be asking questions like might we have been ambitious in certain areas. We shall also relook at teacher education and ask whether there are gaps in expectations on parents and other stakeholders,” Ong’ondo said.

For example, he said, “we have been told that the time allocated for Kiswahili, English and Literacy is not adequate.”

A section of parents and education stakeholders have raised concerns over what they described as unreasonable and ballooning demands shouldered by schools in the execution of the curriculum.

Currently, the CBC programme is  facing a legal hurdle after High Court advocate Esther Ang’awa filed a petition in court challenging its implementation.

Ang’awa through the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) President Nelson Havi wants the court to suspend further implementation of the programme pending the hearing and determination of the case.

“An order of injunction should be issued restraining the government from further implementing the Kenya Competence-Based Curriculum introduced through the basic Basic Education Curriculum Framework,2017 and Sessional Paper 1 of 2019 on Policy Framework for Reforming Education and Training for Sustainable Development in place of the existing system and structure of basic education (8-4-4) codified under section 41 of the Basic Education Act no 14 of 2013 and the existing curriculum in respect thereto,” the court papers read in part.

Her argument is that overhauling the 8-4-4 system is illegal and vague since it converts primary school to a secondary institution without a clear-cut transition process.

“The effect of this overhaul and replacement of the system and structure of basic education is to designate a primary school as a secondary school and obfuscate the dichotomy between these two components of the basic education structure necessary for the transition from primary education to secondary education without amendment of Basic Education Act No 4 of 2013,” the 162-page petition reads in part.

Despite the raging debate on the curriculum, Education Secretary Prof George Magoha has told off CBC critics saying the program rolled out in 2018 is being implemented by “very competent technocrats.”

Magoha affirmed that the implementation of the new 2-6-6-3 curriculum would continue despite the opposition.

“We have no apologies to make to anybody, this competency-based curriculum is here to stay. In my life it’s the most transformative thing I have seen. I used to be worried that our teachers will compromise it. Even the teachers love it,” noted Magoha.

The Education Cabinet Secretary has already retained Senior Counsel Philip Murgor to represent him in the petition filed in court in which he was named as a respondent alongside the Ministry among other state agencies.

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