Former President Uhuru Kenyatta and Former Interior CS Dr Fred Matiangi. Photo/Twitter.
The CBC is designed to equip learners with skills and knowledge that they can apply in real-life circumstances
The Competency Based Curriculum (CBC) was introduced in Kenya in 2017, developed by the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD).
What is Competency Based Curriculum (CBC)?
It emphasizes the dynamic results of the learning process, such as learner-applicable knowledge, attitudes, and abilities, instead of focusing on traditional subject matter.
This curriculum is learner-centered and adaptable to changing student, teacher, and societal demands.
It is built around a set of essential capabilities that are cross-curricular and subject-specific.
History of Kenya’s Education System – From EAC to Competency Based Curriculum
The Kenyan educational system has undergone several changes over the years.
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In 1967, Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania established the East African Community and adopted the 7-4-2-3 educational system, which included seven years of elementary school, four years of secondary school, two years of high school, and 3–5 years of university study.
However, when the East African Community disintegrated in 1977, Kenya continued to use the same educational system until 1985, when the 8-4-4 system was implemented.
This system included eight years of elementary school, four years of secondary school, and four years of university education.
The Competency Based Curriculum follows a 2-6-3-3-3 schooling cycle, and every student must go through a minimum of 17 levels, with each class lasting one year.
The curriculum is divided into four groups by the KICD: Early Year Education (Pre-Primary & Lower Primary), Middle School (Upper Primary & Lower Secondary), Senior School (Upper Secondary), and Tertiary Education (TVET or University).
The Early Year Education (EYE) group was previously known as Early Childhood Development Education (ECDE).
At this level, learners master essential life skills.
It is divided into two sub-categories: Pre-Primary and Lower-Primary.
Pre-Primary takes two years, and a student must be at least four years old to enter the educational system.
The first class is PP1, which stands for Pre-Primary 1, and the second class is PP2 (Pre-Primary 2).
The Day-Care is also available before this entrance level. It is required and spans one year, though it is not a curriculum requirement.
Lower-Primary includes Grade 1, Grade 2, and Grade 3, and learners must sit an exam or assessment by the Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC) to progress to Middle School.
Middle School includes Upper Primary and Junior Secondary.
It has three levels: Grade 4, Grade 5, and Grade 6. KNEC administers an evaluation after Grade 6 to determine learners’ preparedness for the Junior Secondary Level.
Junior Secondary consists of Grade 7, Grade 8, and Grade 9, and KNEC administers an evaluation after Grade 9 to determine learners’ preparation for Senior School.
At Senior School, learners specialize based on their career goals.
The different types of careers include Sport Sciences & Art, Social Science, and Science Technology Engineering Mathematics (STEM). The levels include Grade 10, Grade 11, and Grade 12. After that, learners can either attend TVET or University or start their own business, depending on their professional goals.
The CBC has brought significant changes to the Kenyan educational system.
It emphasizes competency-based learning, which is learner-centered and adaptable to changing demands.
The system’s implementation is gradual and will replace the 8-4-4 system entirely, and everyone must familiarize themselves with the new system.
The CBC is designed to equip learners with skills and knowledge that they can apply in real-life circumstances, emphasizing critical thinking, problem-solving, and innovation