New Education System: Competence over Competition

By Aaron Kituku.
(kaykituku@gmail.com)

A weekend at home gave me a glimpse of what the competency-based curriculum (CBC) is all about. If skill-set is the focus of this shift in academia, then this is a blessing in disguise.

Pupils from Rock school in Nairobi were cleaning the streets with improvised brooms, aprons, and wheelbarrows on September 5th during a class project in the new curriculum. Apart from the adorable scene of these children sweeping, the direction the new system is taking is impressive.

The 2-6-6-3 curriculum is replacing the old, exam-oriented system, 8-4-4, which was adopted in 1985. Contrary to the traditional education system, the competency-based curriculum advocates for a progressive assessment rather than a single event of an exam, which, whether a student passes or fails, the class will move forward through to new material and assume that students will figure out concepts as the study progresses.

As some might argue that CBC is not encouraging competition, well that’s the idea; it is mastery or proficiency-based kind of learning.

Opposed to studying piles of notes before an exam regardless of whether you understand or not, the new system emphasizes on whether or not a student is demonstrating well-defined competencies. That is knowledge applied. That is true learning.

Just 2 years ago I was helping my brother do his homework in math’s, science and the like, this weekend was different. Shaping a car model from a box, curving out windows and doors was his take-home. It was fun, physically engaging and a provoked creativity. At grade 2, the child is already introduced to basic literacy and numeracy skills, appropriated communication, creativity and critical thinking, hygiene, digital literacy skills, emotional, physical and spiritual development among others.

This is not just an improvement of the 8-4-4 system, it is a complete shift in academia whereby the trainees advance after they have demonstrated proficiency in carefully defined learning areas. That is to mean that if you get over the bar faster, the shorter you take in going through the system.

“We shall ensure that we have now 100 percent transition from primary through to secondary school.” Said President Uhuru Kenyatta during the 3rd National conference on curriculum reforms.

Equality of learning is probably the most important detail of the new system. It accommodates Individuals who would not thrive in a traditional class. It stresses training on a person’s natural inclinations. The system has flattened the playing field for all learners.

Invo

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