Kenyans will have to wait longer to know the fate of the Competence-Based Curriculum (CBC) ahead of the January 2023’s double transition of Grade Six learners to Junior Secondary School and Form One learners to Secondary schools.
This is after the hearing of a court case that is challenging the curriculum’s legality was moved from Monday, September 26, 2022, to November 22, 2022.
The new development was announced by the Deputy Registrar of the High Court’s Constitutional and Human Rights Division.
In the notice, the registrar states that three judges Hedwiq Ong’udi, Antony Mrima, and Anthony Ndung’u who were appointed by Chief Justice Martha Koome to preside over the trial will not be available as they are away on other official duties.
"Take notice that the hearing of petition of the bench matter petition E371 of 2022 (Esther Awour Adero Ang'awa vs Cabinet Secretary responsible for matters relating to basic education) will not proceed as scheduled as the judges will be away on official duties."
"We advise that the matter will be mentioned on November 22, 2022. We highly regret the inconveniences caused," the Deputy Registrar stated.
The lawsuit was filed by Esther Ang'awa, a lawyer and parent, who later dropped out but the court allowed her lawyer former Law Society of Kenya (LSK) president, Nelson Havi to prosecute the case on her behalf.
According to the court papers, Havi wants the court to quash the new education and revert to the 8-4-4 system saying it is burdensome, costly, and confusing for learners given the scarcity of facilities to embrace the new system.
Lawyer faults Magoha over CBC implementation
On Tuesday last week Havi tweeted saying he is ready to thwart efforts by Prof Magoha of having the curriculum continued during the hearing of the case that was to commence on September 26, 2022, before the three judges.
“Someone, tell Education Cabinet Secretary Prof George Magoha that the hearing of the CBC matter is next week for three days. He is welcome to come submit in Court, in support of his position instead of continuing to mislead Kenyans on the biggest education scandal ever conceived,” Havi said last week.
The postponement of the case comes after President William Ruto, a week ago, said he will be forming
an education reform task force to spearhead a review of the suitability of the new curriculum that was rolled out six years ago.
Ruto also promised to solve the double transition nightmare of Standard Eight under the 8-4-4 system and Grade Six learners under the CBC to secondary schools in January.
“Public participation is critical in this matter. I will establish an education reform task force in the presidency which will be launched in the coming weeks,” Ruto announced.
The Head of State promised to form a team that will collect views from the public which will inform the areas to be reviewed in the curriculum as the court proceedings continue to determine its legality as sought by lawyer Havi.
In June, the judges declined to terminate the case challenging the competency-based curriculum, whose implementation has reached Grade Six.
Allowing Havi to inherit the case, judges Ong’udi, Mrima, and Ndung’u said the CBC suit raises matters of great public interest.
They said the suit will determine the well-being and future of the Kenyan child.
The judges observed that the petition challenges the authenticity of the CBC education system, which the petitioner claims is burdensome to students and parents.
“The suit raises serious constitutional issues, which should be synthesized, articulated, digested, and adjudicated before a determination is rendered,” they ruled.
The judges further noted the suits raise serious issues that touch on the core of the education system.
The initial petitioner, Lawyer Ang’awa said the government did not seek public input before folding up the 8:4:4 system.
She added that teachers were also side-lined, despite being the implementers.