COMPETENCY BASED CURRICULUM POSITION PAPER BY
KEWOTA PRESENTED TO THE PRESIDENTIALWORKING PARTY
ON EDUCATION REFORMS IN KENYA ON OCTOBER 25TH 2022
Boundless Development Opportunity for every Woman
Teacher in Kenya
To provide integrated support to women teachers for professional growth and economic development
The Kenya Women Teachers Association(KEWOTA) is a vibrant welfare society and community for female teachers in Kenya.
The association consists of female teachers employed by the TSC, privately employed female teachers, ECDE female teachers, SNE female teachers, and other women in the education sector.
Our engagement with teachers
The chairperson and your esteemed task force members, The Kenyan Competency-based Curriculum (CBC) is a new system of education designed by the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) team and launched by the ministry of education in 2017. The word curriculum in a formal setting is the planned learning experience offered to the learner in a school by teachers. The CBC is designed to emphasize the significance of developing skills and knowledge and applying those competencies to real-life situations.
From the onset in 2016, the promoters, KICD and MOE had a good intention of equipping the learners with globally recognized 21st-century skills. The creators of the competency-based curriculum envisioned that at the end of the learning period, every learner should have achieved the following competencies:
- Communication and collaboration
- Critical thinking and problem solving
- Imagination and creativity
- Learning to learn
- Digital literacy
Moreover, at the end of the learning period the learner should have been molded to have the following values: Love, Responsibility, Respect, Unity, Peace,
According to UNESCO (2015) Competence Based Curriculum (CBC) is a vehicle through which a country can empower its citizens with skills, knowledge and values that will help them fit in the global village which is characterized by advancing technology. Further, IBE-UNESCO (2017) highlighted that CBC enables learners to perform practically and measurably, using the skills acquired through learner-centered pedagogy
However, from inception, politics of curriculum took centre stage. With curriculum reform being considered a Jubilee manisfeto project, the entire project was rushed in context of structure and implementation. The technical committee became a political tool with less consideration of public participation. Professionals with relevant competencies like critical thinkers, and economists were not engaged to guide the path to implementation. Let me address the real issues
1.The CBC structure
CBC is divided into three levels as illustrated below:
- Early Years Education-pp1 and pp2,G1,2,3
- Middle School Education-G4,5,6, 7 8 9
- Senior School-G10,11,12
We were made to understand that CBC would benefit Kenyans:
- It is more focused on the learner rather than the teachers.
- It is flexible
- Encourages creativity and innovation
- The pressure on academic performance will be eased
- Students engage in both theory and practicals
- Parental Participation
- Learners are expanded to more opportunities ü Embraces the use of technology in education
There are many challenges facing implementation of CBC? Indeed the real spirit of CBC has been lost completely to the challenges we face
- Large number of students in the classrooms
- location and physical settings of our schools
- Curriculum-required content
- Inadequate instructional materials in schools
- Teacher content knowledge and preparedness
- Difference between teachers’ beliefs and the underlying ideology of the proposed curriculum
- Learners and parental expectations
- Learners pre- knowledge and institutional arrangement.
- Transitioning and domiciling Junior secondary
a)Junior Secondary School (JSS) Grades 7 and 8 be domiciled in the primary school Education level. Thus the primary school reverts to 8 years.This is informed by the fact that our secondary Schools level lacks capacity, both in human resource and infrastructure to facilitate the expected depth of engagement with the JSS CBC content. Further, domiciling JSS at primary School level will allow learners to mature and allow for the last cohort of 8-4-4 proceed without double intake in secondary as the schools are seriously strained and give time for infrastructure development in secondary schools
A 27%increase in Secondary School learner population in Year 2023 from 4,381,701 to 6,029,168 if JSS is domiciled in secondary is too expensive at a time the world will be facing a recession in year 2023. this can lead to collapse of an entire education system. b) learning areas/ subjects
We recommend that if learners remain in primary for an additional 2 years, the content/ subjects proposed for junior secondary are shelved. This is because primary school teachers may not have the competence to teach junior secondary subjects. Learners should continue learning the same subjects they are learning at grade 6
- KICD to develop content for grade 7 and 8 inline with the subjects being offered at grade 6 in 2022
- Transitioning primary School learners to Secondary School (SS)
Our proposal above was that primary be extended by two years. Thus learners transition to secondary in 2025.
- The earlier proposed Junior Secondary school be scrapped and instead we have a secondary cycle of 4 years.
- Secondary school be implemented as Junior secondary-G9 and 10 and senior school-G11 and 12
- The implementation of the Pathways and Tracks be done at SSS in 2027. while considering equity and cost effectiveness, raises the issue of adequate preparations in terms of infrastructure and human resources (especially physical infrastructure for STEM and teachers for new learning areas like Sports Science). This in the context of the Basic Education Curriculum Framework (KICD,2017) which proposes that 60 per cent of the learners at SSS will pursue the 4 Tracks in the STEM Pathway. The remaining 25 percent will pursue Languages and Social Sciences, while 15 per cent will pursue Sports Science, Performing and Visual Arts.
- At senior school- the task force considers reducing the learning areas based on cost benefit analysis and the demand and supply factors. It is our opinion that many of the subjects under STEM especially CTS subjects like agricultural technology, leather work, plumbing, welding, air conditioning, building construction, photography motor vehicle mechanics, land surveying, electricity etc may finally not be taught in our schools given there are no universities training teachers in these subjects. They will not be able to attract teachers hence a natural death.
- TSC to prepare projections on teacher requirements for reforms in Senior Secondary School.this may help advise universities introduce courses in specific subject areas.
- Every County to provide adequate opportunities for access to the 3 Pathways in Senior Secondary School to ensure equity by the year 2027.
- Placement to SSS be based on formative and summative assessments in JSS and learners’ career choice.
2.Implementation of the CBC-the teacher question
Chairperson, a curriculum may be beautifully and well planned but will be of no use if it is not implemented effectively.It is the teacher who must understand the appropriate pedagogical strategies and methods to implement the new curriculum effectively. A global study carried out by the UNESCO (2006) found that curriculum implementation may fail due to teachers’ incompetence on curriculum due to lack of training on curriculum and discomfort in using sensitive materials.
The vision of the new curriculum is, ‘every child is prepared for life’. That means, all the children who are attending school must achieve the seven key competencies in the new curriculum or the newly introduced competence-based curriculum to be ready for life.
Therefore, to achieve the vision of the curriculum, it is a must for the teachers to fulfil their roles effectively. To carry out the roles effectively, the teachers must have the required knowledge and skills. Teachers need to be familiar with the design and the underlying principles of the curriculum. There should be a welldeveloped procedure for professional development programmes, monitoring and evaluating the work of the teachers especially during the implementation.
Our research and interaction with our teachers found that the teachers are not adequately prepared for the competency based curriculum. Though we appreciate that over 230,000 teachers have undergone some in servicing over the years, their competency to implement CBC is still wanting. This is compounded by the fact that there are learning areas in the curriculum that teachers never covered while in TTC.There is under staffing and heavy wok load experienced by teachers.
Similar findings were reported by KNUT(2019) who highlighted that implementation of the curriculum was a challenge due to overcrowded classrooms due to extremely high learners’ enrolment and lack permanent classrooms which has led institutions to combine some learners of different grades. The findings also concur with the findings of a study carried out by Njoroge (2013) that assessed factors affecting curriculum implementation in public primary schools in Suswa Division, Narok County, Kenya and revealed that inadequate physical facilities affect curriculum implementation. It was also established that material and facilities were inadequate for effective curriculum implementation. The findings also agree with the findings by Makunja (2016), who investigated challenges facing teachers in implementing the CBC in Tanzania
- The government through TSC employs more teachers to reduce the overload ii. Well planned, systematic and rigorous re tooling of teachers on CBC done by competent trainers. This could be planned to be continuous 1 to 2 months training/in-servicing iii. A better staffing policy should be established in order to meet the rising needs of schools.
- A system of continuous teacher professional development is needed.the system should be well thought like other professions- HRM, Accountancy, medicine etc. The current TPD as structured is not tenable and is more of a punishment to teachers.That one module take 5 years to complete is just abnormal.it should be scrapped.
- KICD and KNEC be devolved to the sub counties to support continuous professional development.
3.Parental engagement and extended work
CBC has promoted more parental engagement through the extended work given to the learners. However there have been public outcries as to the appropriateness of the activities, excess demands on parents, relevance of the activities and availability of the required resources.the level of Parents’ Preparedness for holistic and participatory approach is wanting
- i) KICD reviews the curriculum designs to reduce the learning experiences requiring parental input ii) Provide age appropriate and level appropriate tasks that can be carried out by the learner without input of parents iii) Provide a structure for training and capacity building of parents to support learning of their children iv) Concept of parental involvement be expanded in line with Epstein typology to include parenting, communicating, volunteering, learning at home, decision making and collaboration with the community. It should not only focus on assignments and extended work
Success of the CBC is premised on the fact that school have adequate resources for teaching and learning. However several studies carried out on the system have established that Infrastructures available in schools were not adequate for successful implementation of competency based curriculum. Teaching and learning materials available in the schools were not adequate as compared to the number of pupils, there were no inadequate laboratories, workshops,agricultural land, physical facilities in secondary schools.ICT infrastructure is lacking in many school yet it is the backbone for competency based learning.
These findings concur with the report by KNUT (2019) which highlighted that majority of CBC learning areas did not have approved books, materials and the Government had delayed the distribution of textbooks to schools. The findings also agree with Mugabo, Ozawa and Nkundabakura (2021) who conducted a case study which explored the relationships between a school profiles and capacity to implement CBC in Rwanda. Findings from the study indicated that implementation of the curriculum was challenged by inadequate teachinglearning resources and lack of infrastructural capacity of the schools. On the same breath, Ndayambaje (2018) highlighted the challenges facing implementation of CBC in Rwandan schools. The study reported lack of sufficient teaching-learning resources as one of the issues hindering effective implementation of CBC in primary schools in Rwanda.
- i) There is need for mapping of all secondary schools in the country to establish the available resources such as classrooms, laboratories, workshops, playing in order to establish the enrolment capacity ii) There is need for provision of adequate resources and CBC instructional materials in the schools.
iii) Government to invest in ICT infrastructure for schools as ICT is the backbone of competency based learning iv) Explore the public private partnerships in the provision of school infrastructure where private entrepreneurs can invest in schools and schools pay later.
5. Competency Based Teacher Education (CBTE)
KICD developed the Teacher education curriculum Framework in 2019. this was followed by the development of DPTE and DSTE Curriculum for implementation in teacher training colleges.
1.Rigorous retooling of tutors pre-service teacher education training colleges are on effective interpretation and implementation of the teacher education curriculum framework and designs.
- align the Teacher Education programmes to CBC and CBA and build the capacity of all university teacher educators in line with the aspirations of CBC.
3.Need to develop a Certificate Course for Teacher Educators.
4.TSC to review Continuous Teacher Professional Development (CTPD) performance appraisal systems to align them to the dictates of CBC.
6. Transition from Basic to Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET)
We foresee that Transition from Basic Education to TVET could be relatively seamless under CBC. This is because learners will have specialized in the relevant areas at Senior Secondary School level based on career interests. To enhance this transition, KEWOTA makes the following recommendations:
- KICD and TVETA to review all TVET curriculum which have not yet adopted the CBET approach.This be reviewed in consultation with industry.
- MoE and CoG to create a framework that facilitates sharing of infrastructure and human resource between the Senior Secondary Schools and TVET institutions. iii. Government to expand infrastructure to support effective delivery of CBET.
- MoE to strengthen the capacity of Kenya Technical Training College (KTTC) and Technical Universities to train trainers of TVET courses.
- MoE to fast-track establishment and operationalization of TVET Funding Board as provided for in Article 47 of the TVET Act (2013).
- MoE in collaboration with stakeholders to conduct advocacy and publicity campaigns to change the perception of TVET by students and the public.
- MoE in collaboration with other government agencies to develop a policy framework for collaboration between TVET institutions and the industry to enhance quality and relevance of the curriculum.
7: University Education
The transition to university education has been conceptualized based on the Basic Education Curriculum Framework (KICD, 2017) that articulates the CBC approach, Guiding Principles and the various Pathways and Tracks (KICD, 2017) to be offered in Senior Secondary School. Learners will join university in 2029.
To prepare for this transition, the KEWOTA recommends the following
- The Government through Commission for University Education to fast-track development and review of university programmes to align with the Senior Secondary School curriculum to be agreed upon.
- University funding model be review to allow trainees to pay for the courses instead for the unrealistic ksh.16,000. this is because at secondary the learners are paying a high fees. This will help the universities facing financial challenges and ensure quality education at university is not compromised.
- Universities to retool lecturers by providing pedagogical training responsive to the CBC approach.
- Universities be encouraged to form partnerships and collaborations with other universities globally for exchange of best practices
- universities be encouraged to initiate income generating activities and resource mobilization initiatives to ensure financial sustainability of their activities.
8: Competency Based Assessment (CBA)
Assessment is critical for the success of CBC implementation at all levels. The method adopted for assessment will determine whether CBC is effectively implemented or not. Effective CBA entails a balance between formative and summative assessments to inform both the feedback on learning progress and transition across the various levels of Basic and Tertiary education and training.
- Assessment at Primary level
This should be mainly formative. In Grades1 to 4, teachers will conduct classroom assessment, and at Grade 3, This should be developed and administered by the classroom teacher.
- Assessment in Upper Primary G4-8 should be a balance between formative and summative to assess comprehensively the mastery of competencies of different learners
- Learners should sit a national examination at Grade 8 to facilitate placement of learners in G9.(Junior Secondary School).
- Assessment at Junior and Senior Secondary
We recommend both formative and summative assessment at junior and senior school. The Junior Secondary School assessment will facilitate placement in Senior Secondary School Pathways and Tracks, while the Senior Secondary
School assessment will facilitate transition into Tertiary and University Education and Training.
- v) School based assessment be supervised by external teachers and account for 20% while KNEC assessment accounts for 80%.
9: Parental Empowerment and Engagement (PEE), Value-Based Education (VBE) and Community Service Learning (CSL) Programmes
CBC lays emphasis on holistic development of the learners and a transformation of the Kenyan society to embrace acceptable values and community service ethos. This is to be achieved through Parental Empowerment and Engagement (PEE), Value-Based Education (VBE) and Community Service Learning (CSL) For effective implementation of PEE, VBE and CSL. Implementation of these programmes will determine the real impact of CBC
- KICD and other stakeholders collaborate to design public education programmes for engaging and sensitizing communities on PEE, VBE and CSL
- MoE and relevant stakeholders to develop and strengthen partnerships and collaborations with all education stakeholders for implementation of PEE, VBE and CSL.
- existing policies be reviewed to ensure they accommodate PEE, VBE and CSL.
- MoE, KICD, Parents Association and TSC to develop guidelines on how to empower teachers and parents/guardians through appropriate platforms to play their role effectively in parenting.
5.MoE to enhance financial support for effective implementation of PEE, VBE and CSL.
|10: Governance and Financing|
|Success or failure of an education||is||determined||by||Governance||and|
financing.these two will ultimately determine effective implementation of the CBC. The quality of education access, equity, and quality will be anchored on effective governance and financing. Its our understanding that as we enter global recession face in 2023, financing education will be areal burden to the exchequer
- creating synergy for effective implementation of CBC throughout the Education Sector by reviewing governance structure to identify and strengthen weak institutional linkages
- strengthen linkages with County governments, private sector, development partners and all non-state actors to support effective implementation of the curriculum reforms.
- help create an ecosystem for efficient and cost-effective delivery of CBC reforms through a governance and financing system.
- Establishment of a framework for capacity building of Education officers, CEB members, BOM members, Parents Association members, Education Managers, and other key stakeholders in education.
- MOE and treasury develops a needs-based unit-cost of all the education levels that include Pre-primary, Primary, Junior Secondary, Senior Secondary, Special Needs Education, Teacher Education while considering equity and quality requirements.
- Need to engage economists to do the costing of CBC and demand and supply factor analysis to determine the viability and implementability of some of the proposed learning areas
6.Develop income generating and Resource Mobilization Strategy for Education and Training while encouraging Public Private Partnerships.
7.Institutionalize Sector Wide Approaches (SWAP) for education planning, budgeting, and programme implementation
We hope the task gets all views from all the stakeholders and get the best system of education for the country for this would determine the posterity of our country.
Chief Executive Officer/General Secretary
Kenya Women Teachers Association – KEWOTA