CBC task force public engagement in West Pokot.

Education stakeholders
Education stakeholders

Mixed views and reactions were raised by residents, political leaders, religious leaders, parents and other education stakeholders during the Presidential Education reforms taskforce that took place in West Pokot County on Wednesday.

The public and stakeholders gave their views to the Presidential taskforce on education reforms at Nasokol Secondary called for radical reforms in the education sector, including an overhaul of the Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC) and a return to a reformed and improved 8-4-4 system.

Opinion was, however, divided as some stakeholders called for reorganization of CBC to make it more affordable for all.

West Pokot Governor Simon Kachapin said that CBC is good but implementation was rushed.

West Pokot Governor Simon Kachapin
West Pokot Governor Simon Kachapin

He said the system should be improved because the objectives of 8.4.4 were the same. “Teachers should be in position to promote them. Junior secondary should be domiciled at primary level because the same teachers will need extra both human and capital resources,” he said

West Pokot Knut Secretary Martin Sembelo said CBC should be abolished.

West Pokot Knut Secretary Martin Sembelo
West Pokot Knut Secretary Martin Sembelo

He said the former government forced the CBC implementation because teachers have not been trained properly.

He said 8.4.4 system should be modified because some subjects are not practical.

“There is not a single swimming pool in West Pokot.  Subjects like Art, Craft and Music should be cooperated. We need serious investments  in the internet and electricity,” he said.

He said that there is need for radical reforms in the education sector.

“The curriculum was tested in three Countries, one is South Africa but failed after three years and went back to the original system,” he said.

He said that Children With Disabilities and their facilities should be put into consideration.

“Let the government set up infrastructure,” he said.

He said the teacher ratio to learners is wanting

“The international ratio is 1; 27 learners but in Kenya is 1:100,” he said

He recommended policy on Teachers learners’ discipline.

“We have a shortage of 3000 teachers in the County and teachers have shallow training,” he said.

Mr. Sembelo said that the CBC has a lot of issues and road blocks.

We need proper and extensive public participation,” said Mr. Sembelo.

He said that the system should be implemented in a systematic and effective manner.

“We should know how much resources are required. The changes should not be done in any hurry. We can’t do experiments on our children in an unprepared curriculum .There are many gaps lacking in the curriculum,” he said.

A parent, Evelyn Chelagat dismissed CBC as bad because it is expensive based on the high cost of living.

“Should we deal with the high cost of one kg of maize or buy chicken or eggs. We are unable to deal with CBC. We want the 8.4.4 system back,” she said.

A senior Citizen’s Secretary Nicholas Domokwang said that the taskforce committee meetings were rushed.

“We are not ready to give out our views and sitting should be pushed to a later date for us to give us our views. Let them give us time,” he said.

Rael Chepkoech said that the curriculum is good but expensive.