Blow to CBC as High Court advocate files petition against it

By , K24 Digital
On Fri, 17 Sep, 2021 11:39 | 3 mins read
Prof George Magoha
Education Cabinet Secretary, Prof George Magoha, at a past function. [PHOTO | FILE]
Education Cabinet Secretary, Prof George Magoha, at a past function. PHOTO | FILE

The new Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC) has suffered a major blow after High Court advocate Esther Ang'awa filed a Petition in court challenging the same.

Ang'awa through Law Society of Kenya (LSK) President Nelson Havi wants the court to suspend the government move of further implementation of the CBC pending the hearing and determination of the petition challenging the same. 

"An order of injunction should 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," the court papers read in part.

The petitioner is further seeking the case to be referred to Chief Justice Martha Koome for assignment of uneven judges to hear and determine the matter.

"That the notice of motion filed herein together with the petition seeks certification as the same raises substantial and novel questions requiring consideration by an even number of judges, being not less than five to be assigned by the Chief Justice," Havi argues.

The LSK boss further wants the court to issue conservatory orders staying further steps towards the implementation of the CBC in order to prevent further denial, violation, or infringement of rights of children to education and free and compulsory basic education.

Havi argues that actions by Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha, Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development, Kenya National Examination Council, and Teachers Service Commission who are listed as respondents in the case to introduce the new curriculum which is to replace the 8-4-4 system is unconstitutional and unlawful. 

"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 says.

According to Havi, the 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.

"There is a wide public outcry in the manner in which the CBC Curriculum has been imported from other jurisdictions (where it has failed to achieve intended objectives) without due process of the law, applied in basic education in the absence of all stakeholders involvement, with the result that children are forced to make career choices before acquiring knowledge and general learning necessary to inform the selection of pathways in education and training when they lack the capacity to do so."

“CBC is a fraudulent curriculum that is being forced on the nation of Kenya and it was rolled out without a professional perspective,” he argues.

Ang'awa further argues that the actions by CS Magoha and  Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development that intended to purport CBC system and structure of education were not done in accordance with the law adding that its rolling out and implementation was shrouded in opacity. 

An affidavit by Havi says that the framework necessary for the change of the system and structure of basic education from 8-4-4 and adoption of the CBC Curriculum recommended by the government has not been put in place.

Havi further argues that the system and structure of basic education and curricula was never part of the manifesto of the Jubilee Administration and the unlawful disruption and interference with the same ought not to be countenanced on the strength of the now often used terms" it is in the public interest " and "stop fighting the government project"  

" An unlawful overhaul and change of the system and structure of the basic education of the curriculum by the Jubille administration in purported pursuit of legacy projects is an argument that is not in tandem with what was promised but is escapist, seeking to place the blame for lack of viable policies to ensure employment and economic empowerment for all citizens on children by falsely asserting that the 8-4-4  system of education makes them incompetent and unemployment," says Havi.  

Some parents have expressed concerns about the expense of the new curriculum which is to replace the 8-4-4 system.

Their anger is 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 has since 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.