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We must change curriculum to meet our national aspirations

Friday April 26 2019

By LETTERS
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The Competence-based Curriculum (CBC) should be implemented for the nation to meet its social, political, economic, technological and industrial targets.

The current system has serious flaws. For instance, it lacks a mechanism to identify and nurture talent.

The 8.4.4 system is examination-oriented and has placed students into two unfair categories: ‘Winners’ and ‘losers’, based on their performance in national examinations.

The 8.4.4 system breeds incompetence, examination malpractices and has failed in inculcating a value-based system that encourages national cohesion, patriotism and love for diverse cultures. It’s a fiasco.

Why, for instance, do we rank pupils in pre-primary based on examinations, when such children are supposed to be in school to interact with each other and enjoy their childhood? How can a child be labelled as poor in primary school, based on some scores?

LIFE SKILLS

The new system will accord teachers time to inculcate seven key core values, among them communication and collaboration, digital literacy, citizenship as well as self-efficacy.

The Basic Education Curriculum Framework (BECF), which informed the need to adopt the CBC, is a well-researched paper with strong theoretical principles behind the 2.6.3 system.

It stresses the need to produce empowered, ethical and engaged learners. If this philosophy is followed, some social evils in society will be addressed.

We expect students to be morally upright, innovative and creative. Challenges of teenage pregnancies and love issues will be addressed by teaching life skills.

The current training of teachers on CBC is aimed at enlightening them on the content and philosophy of BECF.

Teachers must understand why it’s necessary to change our system for them to embrace the changes.

PREPARATION

Denying them such an opportunity is to create a chaotic situation in our education system. This is where the Kenya National Union of Teachers is wrong.

We adopted 8.4.4 system without understanding its philosophy. The CBC training is thus critical to prepare teachers for smooth implementation of the syllabus. Teachers’ attitude towards use of ICT will be a crucial factor in training.

Tusome programme has been successful partly because teachers used ICT, resulting in wonderful literacy learning outcomes in lower primary schools. Further, CBC training will improve collaboration teaching skills.

The 8.4.4 system puts emphasis of promotion of individual teachers based on mean score and discourages collaborative teaching, where tutors work as a team to improve students.

The 8.4.4 system has failed us; it’s time to fix it. The future is bright. Knut must be on the right side of history.

Dr P. M Mutua, Kilifi