Education: Teachers want sensitisation of parents on CBC fast-tracked

By , K24 Digital
On Mon, 29 Jul, 2019 00:00 | 4 mins read
A teacher at Khadija Primary School, Mombasa, takes her class through a lesson under the new curriculum. Photo/NDEGWA GATHUNGU

Noven Owiti and Clement Kamau @PeopleDailyKe 

The introduction of the Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC) has presented families with challenges as parents strive to adapt to the added responsibilities. 

CBC focuses more on learners’ talents and artistic capabilities in direct contrast to the 8-4-4 system, which is based on academic excellence.

However, parents say the new syllabus has cost implications and is demanding that they spend more time to monitor their children’s homework. There are also concerns that many parents are unaware of their duties under the new education system.

Victoria Primary School head teacher Edward Omala says there is confusion in the CBC implementation in schools as many parents are still unaware of what their responsibilities are. He says there is need for the ministry of Education to undertake proper sensitisation of parents on CBC to enable them to understand their roles in the new syllabus. 

Omala says parents keep visiting his school to inquire what their obligations under CBC are. “The parents say they are not sure how to manage their children when they return home early.

We feel that the parental obligation that has come with the new curriculum should be well explained publicly so that parents are aware of their roles. This will avoid duplication of duties,” Omala told Scholar.

Dickson Odhiambo, a parent in Kisumu says they are grappling with the extra costs of the CBC such as purchase of new textbooks and other learning materials. Compared to the 8-4-4, he says, parents are required to play a leading role in nurturing their children under the new syllabus. 

Parents confused

He says the new syllabus can help learners identify and nurture their talents at an early age.  “I am often forced to leave work early to assist my kids go about their homework,” says Odhiambo, adding that parents have a more crucial role to play in shaping lives of their children for the CBC implementation is to be realised.

Another parent Christine Nyalik says parents are able to identify and help develop their children’s talents from an early age. “But the high cost of text books and other learning materials are major challenges,” he says. 

Tutors want the parents to take their duties serious under the new syllabus, including disciplining their children. 

Dickson Otigo, a teacher at Bala Primary School in Nyakach sub-county says collaboration among parents, learners and teachers being advanced by the new curriculum will guarantee quality education. 

“Under CBC guidelines, parents should understand that the role of bringing up a child has not been left only to teacher. 

Despite gains on the CBC rollout, a negative attitude among parents influenced by criticism by sections of stakeholders is hurting the process.  Proper parental empowerment and engagement will help learners develop well both in school and at home,” says Otigo.

Nationally, disagreements on the implementation of the curriculum between the ministry of Education and the Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) have left parents confused.

The National Parents Association (NPA), one of the organisations advocating for the implementation of the new programme, is expected to make submisions during the national stakeholders’ conference on CBC scheduled in Mombasa next month. 

Parents’ manual

NPA Chairman Nicholas Maiyo told Scholar recently that more training to sensitise parents on the CBC is required.

“Parents have been raising questions on the new programme and we’re working on a manual with the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) for sensitisation of parents. As soon as the manual is out, we will embark on parent training across the country,” he said.

Meanwhile, Limuru MP Peter Mwathi has said there is confusion over the curriculum because planners failed to secure stakeholders’ participation. Still, he urged teachers and parents to support the implementation of the new syllabus. 

Speaking at Kinyogori Primary School during an education day for local schools, Mwathi urged the Ministry of Education to ensure that the teething problems bedevilling implementation of the curriculum are overcome promptly.

“We support the new curriculum but the ministry should avail all the required information, materials, human resources and a conducive environment,” he said.

Those who attended the event included Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) Kiambu West branch Secretary Michael Muna, who said that there are always some teething problems in every new development programme.

Muna accused his boss, Knut Secretary General Wilson Sossion of demonising the new syllabus, saying that majority of teachers were ready and willing to implement it.

Unnecessary politics

 “Our national office is going against the grain by politicising the implementation of the new curriculum at the expense of learners.  Sossion ought to offer short-term solutions before we get the long-term ones as opposed to rubbishing everything; we as teachers do what our employer, the Teachers Service Commission directs as to do,” he said.

Addressing Kiambu East teachers in Kiambu town early this month, Sossion termed the ongoing implementation of the CBC an illegality and a violation of the 2010 Constitution.

He said there are no approved statutory instruments to anchor the exercise and that there is no gazetted commission to manage the process. 

However, Muna rubbished the claims noting that the most pressing issue currently was the long awaited promotion of teachers and their proper medical insurance schemes.

“We are ready to implement the CBC. Our main concern is the delayed promotion of teachers who have furthered their education but still in the same job groups,” he said.

Mwathi promised teachers that he would take up the promotion matter by seeking audience with both the TSC and Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha.

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