THE POSITION OF YOUTH IN RELATION TO THE CBC

There have been different forums that have given the stakeholders an opportunity to express their views on how we should best implement this new system of education through the county and national dialogues. As early as last week I got an opportunity to engage at the Kenyatta University on the placement of the universities in implementation of the CBC. With the celebration of International Youth Week whose theme was transforming education, different young people across the country were able to give their views and opinions on the new curriculum.

The question then becomes, what is the data that was collected from the youth in this country. What do we understand about the 8-4-4 and how ready are we to embrace the new curriculum. The truth is young people are aware that we have a problem especially with the current system of education in relation to exploring socio-economic opportunities. As summarized by Dear Little Sisters, an organization keen to rescue young women, “The 8.4.4 system was more theoretical than practical. It prepares students to be employees rather than employers. With increased sensitization on the importance of higher education, there are many graduates every year necessitating CBC.”

The youth however raise several challenges that we feel need to be addressed and offered recommendations for this system to be successful. First, the human capital in form of teaching staff. It is key that even as we transition into the new curriculum, there is a fair balance between the student- tutor ratio. Every child regardless of their physical location should access a trained tutor to foster their development. Regarding the trained teachers, there have been complaints by KNUT that the training offered is not adequate enough, mechanisms should be put in place to ensure training of trainers occurs to enable individual tutors confidently execute the new curriculum.

Resources have always been a challenge in the education sector. With the new system that is more engaging and hands on, the ministry and government should ensure all students in the country have access to the required materials, facilities and infrastructure. Citing one example of Makueni County, there is a shortage of 896 teachers in primary and 2252 teachers in secondary schools which will act as a stumbling block to the effective implementation of the CBC. The budget allocation to education should be increased to allow for communication, engagement and facilitation of the process.

In conclusion, the youth are in support of the implementation of the CBC. We offer the above recommendations if the system is to be successful.

 As we end this article, I wish to pose a challenge; we continue to speak about the failure of the 8-4-4 system, what are the interventions in place for those still engaging in the 8-4-4 system and will do so for approximately the next ten years?

Let us view the CBC as an alternative and not necessarily the solution to the different problems in this country. The truth and reality is it will be a long while before the results are observed.

WHAT CONSTITUTES AN ‘IDEAL SCHOOL’

 

A few weeks ago I was having a meeting with Mr. William Kemei regarding the schools’ systems and the Competency Based Curriculum and he posed a question; “What do you think is the ideal institution of learning?” This question challenged us. As we transition into the competency based curriculum, do we understand the real impact we are seeking to achieve upon each individual child in this country through the adoption of the new system?

As we speak, this month, 30 marginalized counties in the country have an allocation of 1.5 billion in this 2019/2020 financial year. Under the secondary education quality improvement project, the goal is the institutions improve their facilities and infrastructure.  Overall, the World Bank has provided 6B to support improvement of infrastructure in selected public secondary and primary schools.

Which facilities are we seeking to improve and how can we model the primary and secondary schools in the country to fit an ‘ideal.’ First is investment in the human capital. Institutions all across the country need to have adequate teachers. The 2-6-6-3 competency programme requires that the teacher to student ratio at the pre-primary level be 1 to 26 students, primary level, 1 to 56 students and the secondary level, 1 to 41 students. These ratios’ guided by the ideal, should therefore inform the ministry even in its allocation of teaching personnel in the different counties. Statistics of the different institutions should inform the remuneration and capital allocation to the different schools.

The second resources that should be availed is learning materials such as books and stationery. There is introduction of new subjects such as environmental activities, psychomotor and creative activities for pre-primary classes or literacy, hygiene and nutrition studies for the grade one to three. It is important that the necessary resources are spread out equitably across the country. Let all the teachers be well equipped to handle the subjects. With the overall goal to allow students to specialize dependent on their ability, interest and personality, we cannot afford to have the to start on a wrong footing. Therefore, the rollout should be deliberate to avail relevant resources to all schools in the country.

Finally, the ideal school should allow the administrators a leeway to make decisions that concern the institutions. There are several bottlenecks that limit operations dependent on approvals to be made. The government through the ministry should allow for flexibility. This is a new process for every stakeholder and it is critical that arising issues are promptly addressed to ensure effectiveness. Let every partner play their part for the ultimate good of the Kenyan child with regards to adaptation of the new curriculum.

THE POSITION OF YOUTH ON THE CBC

There have been different forums including the youth Pre-conference on the CBC,  county and national dialogues that have given the stakeholders an opportunity to express their views on how best to implement this new system of education. As early as last week I got an opportunity to engage at the Kenyatta University on the placement of the universities in implementation of the CBC. With the celebration of International Youth Week whose theme was transforming education, different young people across the country were able to give their views and opinions on the new curriculum.

The question then becomes, what is the data that was collected from the youth in this country. What do we understand about the 8-4-4 and how ready are we to embrace the new curriculum. The truth is young people are aware that we have a problem especially with the current system of education in relation to exploring socio-economic opportunities. As summarized by dear little sisters, an organization keen to rescue young women, “The 8.4.4 system was more theoretical than practical. It prepares students to be employees rather than employers. With increased sensitization on the importance of higher education, there are many graduates every year necessitating CBC.”

The youth however raise several challenges that we feel need to be and offered recommendations for this system to be successful. First, the human capital in form of teaching staff. It is key that even as we transition into the new curriculum, there is a fair balance between the student- tutor ratio. Every child regardless of their physical location should access a trained tutor to foster their development. Regarding the trained teachers, there have been complaints by KNUT that the training offered is not adequate enough, mechanisms should be put in place to ensure training of trainers occurs to enable individual tutors confidently execute the new curriculum.

Resources have always been a challenge in the education sector. With the new system that is more engaging and hands on, the ministry and government should ensure all students in the country have access to the required materials, facilities and infrastructure. Citing one example of Makueni County, there is a shortage of 896 teachers in primary and 2252 teachers in secondary schools which will act as a stumbling block to the effective implementation of the CBC. The budget allocation to education should be increased to allow for communication, engagement and facilitation of the process.

In conclusion, the youth are in support of the implementation of the CBC. We offer the above recommendations if the system is to be successful. As we end this article, I wish to pose a challenge; we continue to speak about the failure of the 8-4-4 system, what are the interventions in place for those still engaging in the 8-4-4 system and will do so for approximately the next ten years?

Let us view the CBC as an alternative and not necessarily the solution to the different problems in this country. The truth and reality is it will be a long while before the results are observed.

COMPETENCY BASED CURRICULUM

The country is currently in a very engaging conversation regarding a new competency based curriculum. Every stakeholder in the education sector is looking towards how to blend into the system changes. But first, do we understand what the CBC is.

The competency based curriculum refers to a new system of education to be adapted after the 8-4-4 which lays an emphasis on the learner practically developing skills and knowledge and applying the competencies to real life experiences. The Kenya Institute of Education designed the program that was launched by the ministry of Education in 2017.

The goal towards the change in curriculum is to equip learners with quality education for social, economic and political growth. It seeks to address some of the failures of the 8-4-4 whose ability to churn out a successful workforce and create a positive socio-economic impact has been in contention. The current graduates of the system fail to display characteristics of education for self reliance calling for recalling of the system of education in the country. Currently, the system is modeled in a way students reproduce the knowledge acquired in class instead of design thinking to develop solutions with the knowledge acquired.

According to the human capital theory, educating a county’s population yields higher productivity of labour and provides the much needed skills essential for industrial development, higher wages and national socioeconomic and political growth (Fagerlind and Saha’s, 1989). The new system therefore seeks not only to be more relevant to Kenya as a country, but also to align with Africa’s agenda 2063 seeking to address youth unemployment in the continent through revolution of skills and knowledge.

The goal can and will be achieved when we have different stakeholders on board. We call upon the youth to actively engage in understanding the new curriculum.It is important that during its implementation, there is adequate resources allocated to the training process and provision of necessary material. One core that will make implementation and evaluation is ensuring conclusive engagement with all the partners, stakeholders and beneficiaries.

It is therefore important that each individual is engaged to ensure the success of this process in the country.