The fate of the new Competency Based Curriculum (CBC) will be known next month when a ruling will be made in the court.
The High Court today Thursday, November 25, referred the CBC case to CJ Koome who has been directed to appoint an uneven bench to hear and determine the case seeking to quash the new curriculum.
Justice Anthony Mrima directed the file to Koome to appoint not less than five judges to hear and determine the case which he said raises substantial issues.
This petition raises substantial and novel issues requiring consideration by an uneven number of judges, being not less than 5 to be assigned by the Chief Justice,” Mrima stated.
The judge further directed the case to be mentioned before the bench that will be constituted by Koome be heard on December 7, 2021. The case was filed by a parent Esther Ang’awa who is also a lawyer.
During the virtual hearing of the case, Judge Mrima gave directions in line with what Ang’awa had requested in regard to the appointment of the judges to adjudicate the case.
Ang’awa argued that the introduction of CBC to replace the 8-4-4 system was unconstitutional and unlawful. She listed Education Cabinet Secretary Prof George Magoha as a respondent in the case.
The judge enjoined other interested parties including, Kenya Private Schools Association, Kenya primary school head teacher association, Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET), and the National Parents Association.
“That the actions of the first to the four respondents as set out in the petition are manifestly unconstitutional and unlawful, are prejudicial to the future of the children of Kenya and ought to be halted pending the determination of the questions raised in the petition,” he stated.
Those listed as the respondents in the case include CSs Magoha, Matiang’i, Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development, Kenya National Examination Council, Teachers Service Commission, Kenya National Union of Teachers, the National Assembly in the main petition challenging CBC.
“An order of injunction be issued restraining the government from further implementing the Kenya competence-based Curriculum introduced through the basic Basic Education Curriculum Framework, 2017 and Sessional Paper 1 of 2019 on Policy Framework for Reforming Education and Training for Sustainable Development in place of the existing system and structure of basic education (8-4-4) codified under section 41 of the Basic Education Act no 14 of 2013 and the existing curriculum in respect thereto,” read the court papers in part.
Law Society of Kenya President Nelson Havi is also enjoined in the case seeking to have CBC quashed.
In September this year LSK President Nelson Havi vowed to challenge CBC in court.
Havi said parents outcry over the new curriculum is overwhelming hence he is left with no option but to present a petition to challenge the validity of CBC.
“I have heard your cries parents, guardians and teachers. The petition challenging CBC will be filed next week. The education system in Kenya should not be an expensive, inefficient and ineffective experiment with our children and their future as is our leadership,” he said.
The new curriculum is facing a myriad of challenges and opposition from different quarters.
Two months ago the former Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) secretary general Wilson Sossion termed it a fraudulent curriculum.
“CBC is a fraudulent curriculum that is being forced on the nation of Kenya and it was rolled out without a professional perspective,” he argued.
According to Sossion, the new CBC system of education is more of an extortionist scheme that has dented parents’ pockets by forcing them to buy unnecessary learning materials.
He further claimed that teachers are finding it difficult to adapt the curriculum since they have not received enough training.
Some parents have expressed concerns about the expense of the new curriculum which is to replace the 8-4-4 system.
Their anger mostly due to the many books and materials they have been asked to buy for their children who recently started the first term of the 2021 academic calendar.
However it emerged that teachers make avoidable mistakes that make learning expensive to parents and assignments complicated for children.
Parents are also on the spot for failing to be involved in their children’s learning by questioning teachers accused of going overboard.
Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) says most teachers have failed to be reactive in their interpretation of the curriculum designs.
“The curriculum designs have what we call suggested learning activities in different learning areas, which should be applied according to the school context,” says KICD Director Charles Ong’ondo.
This means teachers must understand the specific learning outcomes expected of each lesson strand and come up with creative practical ways to enable children to understand what they were taught.
Fatuma Chege, the Principal Secretary of State Department for Implementation of Curriculum Reforms, says a teacher must be creative to know skills that need to be developed.
“Teachers must know ways they can use to teach a similar skill without overloading parents and this is something teachers are taught. The skill of cleanliness, for example, can be taught without everyone going to the market to slash and sweep,” says Prof Chege in regard to Grade 3 Knec assessment on cleaning the market.