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September 14, 2021 | Education Cabinet Secretary Prof George Magoha speaks to the press at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development in Nairobi/Ministry of Education

CURRICULUM REFORM

Magoha vows continued CBC implementation, says criticism unfounded

NAIROBI,Kenya Sep 14 – Education Secretary Prof George Magoha has told off Competency Based Curriculum (CBC) critics saying the program rolled out in 2019 is being implemented by very competent technocrats.

Speaking during a meeting with the Kenya Editors Guild on Tuesday, Magoha affirmed that the implementation of the new  2-6-6-3 curriculum would continue despite opposition from some quarters as the key implementers were happy with it.

“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.

“To portray government as if it does nothing, Ladies and gentlemen is being unfair. Don’t demonize me for saying so, the facts are there” he continued.

Education stakeholders had poked holes on the reviewed curriculum with issues centred on quality assurance, teacher preparedness, the availability and adequacy of teaching materials, the level of engagement between teachers and parents, as well as the challenges faced by head teachers and teaching staff in implementing CBC.

Magoha vehemently defended the CBC curriculum saying no school is lagging behind. He challenged those with contrary information to come forth and present their evidence.

“In my assessment I have been close to 500 schools across the nation. I have never found a CBC classroom not being attended too by a competent teacher. So, what the hell are you people talking about?” posed Magoha.

Law Society of Kenya (LSK) President Nelson Havi had threatened to present a petition challenging CBC with a suit expected to be filed by Friday, September 17.

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In a statement on Twitter, Havi said the petition is  informed by cries from parents, guardians and teachers.

“The education system in Kenya should not be an expensive, inefficient and ineffective experiment with our children and their future as is our leadership,” Havi tweeted.

Magoha said CBC learners he had met in his school tours were comfortable with the curriculum therefore the lawsuit threats are unwarranted.

“If children are happy and we have the children rights. Are we right to say that you want to move to court when we already have 5 million children happy to engage?” Magoha questioned.

The Education CS was quick to point out that indeed CBC had faced hurdles in its implementation in 2017 and as a ministry, they are open to solution-led criticism.

“Why don’t you bring those challenges in a manner that we can accept that you are not doing it for other issues. If you come to me and 90 percent of what you are saying is incorrect even the 10 percent that you think is correct, do you think I will listen to it?” he asked.

The Cabinet Secretary said he can vouch for the CBC having personally assessed the program without overly  relaying on evaluation reports by education quality assurance officers.

“So, before you say we should stop this, give us your facts and you don’t have any. For example, when you say that teachers have not been trained, who in Kenya doesn’t not know teachers have been trained. Why are making issues so difficult? If it all about politics, leave me out of it,” Magoha noted.

A section parents and education stakeholders have raised numerous complaints over the implementation of CBC, its costly and framework.

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The Education CS has warned parents against jeopardizing the future of the 5 million children under the curriculum due to unwarranted complaints.

“Its unfair to expect us to ask you how much it will cost for the implementation of CBC. That is for people who didn’t go to school. Every parent is intelligent they must engage their children. Who told your work is just to produce children?” posed Magoha

The national rollout of Competency Based Curriculum started in January 2019 at Pre-Primary I and II and Grades 1, 2 and 3 in lower primary.

The 2-6-3-3-3 curriculum was billed as the ultimate game changer in the country’s education as it seeks to plug gaps noted under the 8-4-4 system of rote learning and cut-throat examinations.

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