Halt new curriculum for consultation, Knut urges

Irene Githinji @gitshee

The Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) has demanded the immediate suspension of the Competence Based Curriculum (CBC), barely three months into it’s official launch.

The union now wants the country to revert to the old system, saying education should be driven by research studies and facts.

Speaking at Knut headquarters in Nairobi yesterday, secretary general Wilson Sossion alleged that the curriculum is a foreign policy and claimed that teachers in public schools are ill-prepared.

New Curriculum

“Kenya is not a failed State to implement a curriculum run by foreigners, we need to reflect on sovereignty of our country through education,” he said.

However, Sossion said the union is not opposed to the new curriculum but rather “wants things done right as opposed to forcing on teachers a system they do not understand”, even as he questioned why the Ministry of Education is “quick to implement it without following due process”.

Sossion said the system has been tried and tested in countries like South Africa and Malaysia but failed and that Kenya is no exception, considering the heavy investment CBC would require to succeed.

“Education is not politics, it is bequeathing our children with knowledge and so the curriculum we adopt must be good for them,” he said.

He made the remarks yesterday while releasing a report on teacher preparedness for implementation of CBC in Pre-Primary and lower grades at Knut Headquarters.

The research was conducted between January 31 and February 20, with a sample size of 1,455 teachers and 304 head teachers from 405 schools in 37 counties.

Findings of the report indicated that there is a major deficit of CBC teachers and 77.4 per cent of the sampled lacked at least one trained teacher.

Trained tutors

It also showed that most schools have only one trained teacher in CBC with a population of 40 to 79 pupils per stream and more than one stream from Pre-Primary One through to Grade Three.

The report indicated that training was conducted for two to three days for only one week instead of the stipulated five days per week, hence giving teachers a raw deal.

To this end, Sossion said education stakeholders should evaluate the pilot phase of CBC to determine its effects to learners.

“We have heard the Education Cabinet secretary nominee, Prof George Magoha supporting CBC…he is a surgeon but this is not medicine, it is education and it has to be done procedurally,” he said.

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