The competency-based curriculum (CBC) has been one of if not the largest changes made to the Kenyan education system. It was introduced in 2017 with the purpose being to improve the learning experience and reduce some of the limitations in the previous 8-4-4 that ran for 32 years. The introduction of CBC has since sparked various reactions from parents and teachers across the country. Even though the CBC was initiated to improve the learning experience it has not been exempt from various pitfalls.
One of the biggest changes the CBC introduced was the reduced focus on the student's mastery of content. It focused more on improving the learner's skills and noticeable competency, something the previous system could not fulfill. The CBC centered mostly on creativity, digital literacy, critical thinking, problem-solving, communication, and citizenship among other competencies. The main goal was to instill students with knowledge and skills that help them to better navigate an increasingly challenging world.
Unlike the previous system that focused solely on assessment via examination, the CBC introduced a competency-based assessment system. The system sees to it that the learners move on according to their demonstration of what they know and do. This shift ensures that the teacher can assess the student accordingly and focus on the student's strengths and weaknesses.
One of the limitations that face this innovative system is the standardization of such a system. Concerns on how to measure each student for every result in performance. It would be increasingly harder in institutions that had a huge number of students per class. Furthermore, the infrastructure required for such a robust system is very different. It requires learning institutions to focus on the quality of the learning materials such as better classrooms, smart boards, and better digital facilities. These limitations also extend to the quality and ability of teachers to deliver. These challenges have led to large differences in the quality of learning in institutions across the country.
The CBC has positively made waves in the Kenyan education system. The proficiency-based assessment and real-life applications of the CBC have not only managed to stimulate the minds of learners but will ensure that the students are prepared to navigate the world. Nevertheless, critical changes must be made in the system for it to reach its full potential.