As education stakeholders gear up for the rollout of the Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC), the focus is on the Education ministry to ensure the process is smooth, efficient and effective.
Education Cabinet secretary George Magoha is on record as saying the entire process is on course, and that parents and teachers have nothing to fear.
Much as his assurance is timely and aimed to rid the process of apprehension, it is worth noting that some of the concerns raised by stakeholders are genuine and mean well.
Even as questions are asked about the rationale behind the sitting of examinations by Grade Six pupils, alongside their Grade Nine and 12 seniors, it is prudent for such concerns to be held in abeyance until a 26-member task force looking into the matter completes its work.
The task force, led by Kenyatta University Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Administration Fatuma Chege, is looking into the matter.
Both the Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) and parents-teachers associations have raised concerns, most of them genuine, about the rationale behind such a move, hence the decision by the ministry to set up the task force.
The ministry should, similarly, address the concern that the entire process may have been started without adequate preparations, including stakeholder participation. These issues must be laid to rest as this will impact on the acceptability and ownership of the process and eventual results.
The final report from this process should guide the way forward, and serve to sieve constructive ideas from activism that at times creeps up on debate on education in general.
The training, orientation and readiness of teachers to roll out the new system lie at the very core of the success of the CBC, all its good intentions notwithstanding. The ministry must move with speed to address the constant issue of teachers’ shortage, which comes at a time thousands of tutors are languishing with no jobs.
This conundrum, which haunts the teaching profession periodically, must be tackled and put to rest so that an actual audit is done to show where the ministry stands on the matter of numbers.
Finally, remuneration of teachers requires a permanent solution, so that union activism does not ride on this matter every so often.