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Tug-of-war between Sossion and Magoha bad for new curriculum

Friday May 24 2019

The tussle between Kenya National Union of Teachers secretary-general Wilson Sossion and Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha is repugnant.

Since the beginning of this school term, there have been rumours of a looming countrywide teachers’ strike to protest the implementation of the competency-based curriculum (CBC). This has created unnecessary anxiety and speculations among learners and parents as such a strike would deal a devastating blow to the KCSE and KCPE candidates.

Whereas the teachers have a legitimate right to agitate for their involvement in formulating the new education system, saying their input is crucial to its success, it’s imperative to give dialogue a chance. A strike at this time would only disorientate the candidates, hampering their preparedness for the exams.

Parents would loathe a situation where learning is paralysed and negotiations remain deadlocked even after paying an arm and a leg to educate their children.

Both the union and the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) should swiftly address the thorny and contentious issues on the CBC.

In fact, all parties ought to be realistic and diplomatic instead of chest-thumping. Maintaining a hardline stance and bulldozing the matter will not deliver a permanent solution.

The union, TSC, Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development and the Ministry of Education must prepare the ground for negotiations. Time is of the essence.

Joseph G. Muthama, Kiambu

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I have listened to Knut secretary-general Wilson Sossion’s reservations for the new curriculum. To me, his argument makes sense.

I think what he wants for our country is “elimu bora” (good education) and not “bora elimu” (education for the sake of it).

The 8-4-4 system, which was hurriedly implemented in 1985, has churned out many youth who are jobless. Do we wish to see the same repeating itself? Let’s learn from our implementation mistakes of the 8-4-4 and get it right this time round.

I would rather we implement the CBC on a gradual basis while phasing out 8-4-4. This will enable the government to find the necessary resources to equip the selected public schools with teachers, learning materials and infrastructure.

David Meso, Kakamega

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The new curriculum could be headed to the doldrums if the stakeholders, including Cabinet Secretary George Magoha, are not level-headed and sober.

Confrontation and exchanging bitter words will be detrimental to the education sector.

Damson Opiyo, Kisumu