Bungoma education stakeholders want Ruto to suspend CBC

Education stakeholders and residents of Bungoma County have urged president William Ruto to halt the implementation of the Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC) saying it is too expensive.

While giving their opinions before the Presidential Education Reforms Taskforce at Sio secondary school in Kanduyi constituency on Thursday, key players said the new curriculum had placed a heavy financial burden on parents amid the rising high cost of living.

The public forum brought together tens of education stakeholders, parents, civil society members and students.

Patrick Lumumba, a civil society member complained that most of the day-to-day cost of CBC implementation has often been directed to parents.

He said the system had come to burden already overburdened Kenyans.

“Kenyans are not even enjoying the free education because parents spent more on buying learning materials,” Lumumba said.

Mohamed Asam, a parent from Bumula told the committee that some pupils fail to get the learning materials that are required.

“We want the 8-4-4 education system to be brought back, with the reintroduction of art and craft, home science, GHC, agriculture and business education,” he said.

David Wafula, a Bungoma resident said despite the CBC curriculum being good in talent development, it should be halted until the government is ready to employ more teachers and provide the learning materials.

His sentiments were echoed by education official Ken Nganga who said the system was rushed without public participation.

“It’s in the public domain that some teachers have grown fat by asking pupils to bring chicken for them in schools, we even recently had the Kimilili Mp Didmus Barasa lamenting about this,” Nganga said.

“It is absurd how one is sent to bring a percussion, saw, tape measure and a hammer the next day. Where would an ordinary parent in rural areas buy such things?” he lamented.

He said many parents do not own smartphones while others can hardly access the internet, making it difficult for learners to complete assignments.

Nzoia sugar factory primary school headteacher Lydia Namisi said that the age within which learners are transitioning from grade six to junior secondary is of serious concern.

He said children at that tender age still need close monitoring of the parents and therefore should not be separated.

“CBC is generally a good concept and therefore junior secondary schools should be established closer to the learner’s homes for better learning,” Nkaduda noted.

The task force team leader Professor Winston Akala said that the opinions, recommendations and views will enhance reformation in every education level and the curriculum at large.

“We are here to collect views from different stakeholders and come up with recommendations. We will visit schools and also hold a public forum to get views from the public,” he said

Prof Akala., the head of the team that is visiting Busia, Bungoma, Kakamega, Vihiga and Nandi counties.

“People think we have come here to discuss CBC, we want to make it clear that members of the public are invited to give us their views on all aspects of education that include pre-primary education, basic education in terms of secondary and primary education, tertiary education and even correction centers that are run in prisons and university education,” he said.

He said that the team has already visited Busia county where the reception was good.

“Most people are talking about the cost of education, training of teachers who others.

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