Against all odds, motivate teachers to succeed in CBC


Grade Three learners at Patrician Primary School-Kabongo in Eldoret being examined in the recent national assessment under CBC. PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA


  • Curriculum reform is a worldwide practice that follows demands of the society.

As a child, I asked my father endless questions concerning inequalities in our society. My father had only one answer for every question I asked. He told me answers to my questions are found in books. I believed him.

In 1985, I was privileged to be in the pioneer class of the 8-4-4 system. The difference between 8-4-4 and competence-based curriculum (CBC) is that there is a change in the teaching methodology, from teacher-centred to focusing on the learner.

CBC focuses on the acquisition of knowledge, skills and attitudes rather than summative assessment.

It encourages group discussions, individual presentations, demonstrations and not just memorising, but developing competences, and developing skills for solving societal challenges.

The teacher will be the cognitive coach, facilitator, and guide.

Curriculum reform is a worldwide practice that follows demands of the society.

CBC learning is more personalised, practical, and requires reflection among teachers and learners for useful feedback. It focuses on the development of the entire individual, its design is based on what students can do rather than what they know.

Under the social pillar of the Kenya Vision 2030, education and training is expected to be the principal catalyst in creating a comprehensive, equitable and just society.

Technical and vocational education is supposed to play a crucial role in transforming the country to a middle-income economy.

CBC is designed to connect with the Kenya Vision 2030 to drive growth. It aims to fix the disconnect between the theory taught in school and real scenario in the world of work.

In the US, competence-based education has evolved over 100 years. CBC in the US was introduced due to concerns about low student achievement and poor quality of teacher training

The approach has improved the effectiveness of schools, teachers, teacher educators, and served to address concerns.

In Europe, since the introduction of CBC, there has been commendable progress in the attainment of skills and key work competences.

CBC will give African a competitive edge against other continents. Its adoption gives the continent the potential to address complex challenges.

In Finland, CBC implementation has been a success because it was designed in collaboration with various stakeholders.

CBC implementation in Kenya has faced a number of setbacks, including shortage of teachers and infrastructure, financing, and poor mastery of the phonetic alphabets among the early learners while parents are angry.

The State must consider involving all the stakeholders in the CBC implementation, especially the teachers, who are key to the success of this curriculum.

Teachers and educators should be empowered, adequately recruited and remunerated, motivated, and supported.

The State should envisage the proper implementation of CBC in the classroom to enhance the goals of the curriculum.