Eyes on CBC task force as term nears end - Beaking Kenya News

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Friday, 15 May 2020

Eyes on CBC task force as term nears end

CBC
As the task force formed to resolve critical questions around the implementation of the Competency-Based Curriculum prepares to exit next month, the new system is still hobbled by numerous structural and staffing difficulties.
Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha launched the committee in June last year, mandating it to resolve questions on transition from one level to the next, staffing, teacher training, examinations and admissions.
He gave the team one year to come up with a comprehensive report that would be shared with the public before incorporation of the 2-6-3-3-3 system.
However, with only a few weeks to go before the end of the committee’s term, and with Covid-19 having thrown the sector into disarray, questions linger on the implementation of the new curriculum, which is already at Grade Four.
Prof Fatuma Chege, the chairperson, told the Nation by phone that she is upbeat the task will be completed on time.
One of the new system’s best-known and most popular characteristic is that learners will not be subjected to summative assessment.
CRITERIA
President Uhuru Kenyatta laid the debate to rest during the National Curriculum Reforms Conference in August last year, saying no learner will be stopped from proceeding to the next level through exams.
He said grades seven, eight and nine will transition to secondary school. However, despite this directive, questions about the change process and other issues linger.
When he released last year’s Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education examinations results, Prof Magoha said although there will be no examinations in Grade Six, which will mark the end of primary school, the task force will announce how the transition will be carried out.
It is not clear what criteria will be used to determine how more than one million pupils from about 23,000 primary schools will be absorbed into the 9,000 secondary schools available.
The centres of excellence - meant to guide students on career paths - are not ready, yet in three years, the first cohort under CBC will be joining secondary school.
TEACHER TRAINING
This first CBC cohort will join secondary school in 2023, leaving the last 8-4-4 learners still in primary school.
These will transit into secondary school in 2024 together with the second CBC cohort, creating a huge mass going into already congested secondary schools, which are also suffering from a chronic teacher shortage.
Considering the chaotic manner primary school teachers were trained for the CBC, it is worrisome that secondary school teachers have not yet been trained on the curriculum.
The one-week training was hardly enough to change teachers’ understanding of the CBC and their behaviour in classrooms.

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