Kenya is in the process of implementing the Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC) to replace the much-criticized 8-4-4 system. This in itself is a noble cause. However, many questions have been raised regarding the driving philosophy behind the change.
Is it because the previous system(s) has become completely obsolete or is it because we have crafted a better philosophy which can be best transmitted in the new system?
The publication reported that the decades-old Bachelor of Education degree course (B. Ed) through which thousands of Kenyan students have trained to become teachers will soon be no more.
Even then, the system is credited for streamlining university enrolment by creating a level playing ground for both the poor and the rich.
In addition, students who wish to pursue a career in teaching will instead take regular arts or science degrees and a one-year post-graduate diploma in education to qualify for registration as teachers.
The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) now wants Kenyan universities to scrap the B.Ed course as part of reforms intended to usher in the Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC).
The CBC aims to be a more student-based system, with more focus on the ability of the student to self- learn and develop relevant skills requisite for any engagement carried out.
This way of thinking is perhaps informed by the opening up of the world, which has been spurred by the internet explosion.
We feel the TSC framework is not acceptable as it is going to water down our education system, teachers require specialised training right from the start; universities are currently working to align their education programmes to CBC. Says Dr Wilfridah Itolondo, a senior education lecturer at the university.
However, under 8-4-4, learners spend 18 years in school, when the two years of pre-school are factored in.
Under CBC, they will spend 17 years following the structure of 2-6-3-3-3.