● The search for a relevant and holistic curriculum that nurtures learners’ potentials and integrates both schooling and co-curricular activities has led to the evolution of the Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC) in Kenya.
● The overarching aim of the new curriculum is to equip citizens with skills for the 21st century.
● CBC captures the aspirations of the country which places emphasis on the learner’s competence, character, patriotism, citizenship, and ability to coexist as a responsible citizen.
What is Competency-Based Curriculum
A competence is the ability to apply appropriate knowledge, skills, attitudes and values to successfully perform a task.
- The Competency-based curriculum is premised on the belief that individuals are lifelong learners who continuously accumulate knowledge and require to apply the knowing to doing resulting to performance in mastery of skills.
- In a competency-based curriculum, skills attainment and learning are emphasized.
Characteristics of Competency-based curriculum
● Specific measurable competency
● Content based on learner outcomes
● Continuous learner involvement until mastery
● Use of a variety of instructional strategies
● Focuses on what learners need to know
● Pacing instructional to learner need
● Learners demonstrate mastery of competencies
Curriculum Reforms in Kenya
A country’s curriculum ought to enhance the attainment of the national goals of education.
This is essential to ensure that the curriculum addresses the needs of a nation.
Rationale for Curriculum Reforms in Kenya
The following activities informed the change of the curriculum.
Task Force Report on The Re-alignment of The Education Sector to Vision 2030 and Constitution 2010: made the following recommendations:
– Competency based curriculum.
– Flexible education pathways (at senior school level) for identifying and nurturing individual learner’s potential to produce intellectually, emotionally and physically balanced citizens.
– A national learning assessment system National cohesion and their integration into the curriculum.
– Introduction of national values and national cohesion and their integration into the curriculum.
Constitution of Kenya(2010
The constitution is the overall blue print that takes charge of the country in all aspects. The following articles are key to informing the CBC.
• Article 53 (1) (b) states; “Every child has a right to free and compulsory basic education”
• Article 10; National Values and Principles of Governance
• Chapters 6; Leadership and Integrity
• Promoting Kiswahili (national and official language) and English as an official language.
• Emphasise on teaching and learning of KSL and Braille.
• Developing and promoting the use of indigenous languages.
• Emphasis on communication formats and technologies accessible to persons with disabilities.
The Kenya Vision 2030
Kenya Vision 2030 and Sessional Paper No. 2 of 2015 put a strong emphasis on the importance of science, technology and innovation but the current curriculum does not provide deliberate policies, appropriate pedagogical approaches and sufficient resources to lay a strong foundation for the development of these skills.
• In addition innovative, vocational and technical skills considered important for meeting the demand for skilled labour and the country’s goal of industrialization are not well catered for in the mainstream curriculum.
Summative Evaluation of the 8-4-4 System of Education, 2009
The Summative Evaluation of the Curriculum’ (KIE, 2009), indicated that the curriculum content and its implementation was academic and examination oriented.
• In addition to curriculum overload, most schools were not adequately provided with equipped workshops to facilitate the learning of practical skills and teachers were not sufficiently trained. In summary, this is what the summative evaluation of the 8-4-4 system of education, 2009 found:
– Academic and examination oriented. Very little use of formative assessment (assessment for learning). Assessment was limited to summative assessment (assessment of learning).
– Did not provide flexible education pathways for identifying and nurturing aptitudes, talents and interests of learners early enough in order to prepare them for the world of work, career progression and sustainable development.
– Skills gaps identified
– agricultural, entrepreneurial, vocational and technical skills, innovation and creativity and ICT.
Re-alignment to EAC Curriculum Harmonization Framework
• It is important to note that the Eastern African states drew up, ‘A Framework on Harmonization of Curricula,Structure and Examinations in the EAC’ (EAC, 2012).
• As a member of the East African Community (EAC), Kenya had an obligation to reform the basic Education curricula, structure and examination system to align to
the EAC framework in order to ease mutual recognition
of certificates across the region.
• According to UNESCO International Bureau of Education (IBE), a curriculum review should be done after every 5 years.
• Sustainable Development Goal No 4 (Ensuring quality education)
• Benchmarking With Best International Practices
• 21st Century Learning Skills and Approaches