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The Competency Based Curriculum (CBC) was established in 2017 by the ministry of education. The System replaced 8:4:4 system that was there since 1985. This new system 2:6:3:3:3 requires a child to join pre- primary, which marks the first two years, after attaining 4 years of age. The second phase requires a learner to move from grade one to grade six. It is at grade six where learners are supposed to do KNEC exams before joining junior secondary and thereafter senior secondary.

According to KICD assistant director Subira Neema, the plan started in 2005 involving a lot of processes and research. According to her, a pilot programme was conducted in 2017 and 2018 before the official rollout of the program.  

The new system was rolled out by the government after extensive research and consultations with the stakeholders. It was meant to respond to the needs of the 21st century on matters of creativity, imagination and digital literacy. The curriculum is aligned with the social and political dynamics that are faced in the world.

However there has been mixed reactions from people on whether the program should be scrabbed or not.

 The question of whether CBC should be scrapped off or not requires us to understand its benefits and challenges. But it will be unfair to concentrate on the challenges since the programme is at its initial stage of implementation. It is good to note that every education reform has its own problems and discomfort but given time, its there to succeed.  

Why was it necessary to replace the 8-4-4 system with a Competency Based Curriculum?

8-4-4, was not effective since it was based on examinations while ignoring other education needs. The system had too much dependence on exams and students simply parrot what they have been told without actually comprehending it.

The idea of CBC was to let learners discover their talents and acquire real world skills such as critical thinking. CBC is learner centered, not teacher centered.

With CBC, children are better off since they are independent as they do things on their own without supervision.

Benefits of CBC that out way its Challenges

  1. In CBC learners are tested on their ability to distinguish what they have learnt in class and how practically they can apply the skills outside the class. This way, the teacher is able to identify every learners potential and know what work to give to them. through this the teacher is able to help the learner to improve their strength and be able to overcome their weaknesses.
  2. The system require the parents to participate in their children’s positive outcomes during their primary education levels. Through this, parents are able to provide a conducive learning environment by being the learners which in turn motivates the learners to progress in their learning institutions.
  3. CBC provides learners with a diver’s opportunities to learn from to help them narrow to talent identification and potential exploration according to their needs and capabilities. The system encourages learners to develop a positive attitude towards education by allowing them to access equal education opportunities. Through this cases of school dropouts is greatly reduced since every learner is encouraged to study in their area of interest
  4. According to students, CBC system, excellence is based on pre-eminence and interest areas rather than just completions for excellence in internal and external examinations and ranking.
  5. CBC curriculum helps in promoting the imaginative and creativity skills of learners. This is because it  does not bind the learner to what is entailed to the syllabus but allows the learners to expand their minds to discover new ideas and images and bring them into accomplishment. The learners can analyze and find discrete patterns to generate solutions that can positively affect the phenomenon.
  6. CBC curriculum has its main focus in learners where it helps in discovering their potentials in life. Through this, learners are able to acquire knowledge and skills that help them connect with various disciplines as they advance in life
  7. It equips learners with flexibility in content exploration at different angles  hence promoting easy decision making ways.
  8. It encourages corporative learning with  learners to assimilate hence enhancing a positive growth among leaders.
  9. CBC helps promote teacher-learner  alliance that will in tern  create an opportunity for progressive learner support in the flexible team work environment.
  10. CBC curriculum helps in producing local experts who are development oriented. Also in CBC learners abilities are tested in both areas that is class work and co-curricular activities.
  11. The curriculum has much concentration in learners(learner centered). Through this teachers are able to familiarize themselves with learners hence creating  a good relationship among them in shaping the learner’s future talents.
  12. Involving learners in community service helps the apply the knowledge acquired during learning period. Through this, a teacher is able to discover and spot the learners creativity and potential in discovering  specific talents.

3 Reasons Why CBC should Not be Scrapped

  1. It would cause confusion among teachers, pupils and parents.

The pioneers of the CBC are in grade 5. It would be impossible and insensible to have those pupils revert to the old education system as they have not been taught and prepared to sit for the national exams under the 8-4-4 system. Further the future of more than eight million CBC learners will be thrown into disarray. It will also take long for the parents to adjust to such frequent changes.

2. The government has invested a lot of resources and effort towards CBC

A lot of resources and time have been spent in the implementation. Teachers have been trained and infrastructure put in place.  It is impossible to do away with cbc as this will be more costly to the country. Reversing CBC would cost the country more than 200billion.

3. Scrap of CBC will have reversed the gains made with introduction

Introduction of CBC has embraced practical learning that is enjoyable and motivating to learners. Many learners have been able to consistently learn the skills as they progress.

The system gives opportunities to students that are not academically endowed because they are not graded like in 8-4-4 system. Scrapping CBC will do a disservice to over six million children under the program.

Scrapping CBC also will not augur well with the parents because the concern is about the end product, especially now when the world is very dynamic.


Focusing on learners’ ability, the CBC curriculum can be said to be the best education system for learners. Maximum learners potential can be realized for the good of all.

Parents are therefore encouraged to support and embrace this type education system and avoid criticizing it  at all costs. They should not worry about as much has been accomplished towards a successful implementation of the new education dispensation.

However, the government should review the system so as it can be able to fit within the local learning environment. Improvement should be done to enable the system fit within the Kenyan context and be in tandem with the available infrastructure.

This is paragraph 2 for posts without the target word.

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