Trainers don’t understand what they are training-Sossion on new curriculum

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KNUT Secretary General Wilson Sossion
KNUT Secretary General Wilson Sossion

KNUT Secretary General Wilson Sossion has faulted the implementation of the Competence Based Curriculum (CBC) the government has set sights on. He has faulted the level of teacher preparedness and the curriculum’s poor popularity among teachers, saying that the training hasn’t been done properly. He said in countries where the CBC has been a success (Finland and Singapore) significant investments have been made in the education sector and teachers are well equipped to handle any teaching.

He argued that teachers in the country aren’t teaching the CBC as is required, “Which teacher in this country has taught Competence Based Curriculum?… That’s why training is not making sense…because the trainers do not even understand what they are training,” he said.

The government insisted the rollout for the new curriculum was to start in January this year amidst complaints and doubts from different stakeholders. The new curriculum is skills based and seeks to apply competencies to real-life situations. The pre-primary duration is 2 years, lower primary 3 years, upper primary 3 years, lower secondary 3 years, senior school 3 years and higher education at least 3 years.

Implementation of the new curriculum was hurriedly done, according to Sossion, adding that thorough training is needed to shift from the Objective Curriculum to CBC. He said the economic logistics are tough, “We need classrooms, and small classrooms, small class sizes to deliver CBC. You cannot deliver in a class of 35, 30, 40..it’s delivered in smaller classes,” he said, citing nations that have found the curriculum cumbersome, including Malaysia and the UK. “How special is Kenya which cannot even finance training, which cannot even finance a national conference, how special is it that it has the capacity to change overnight?”

Sossion further said that teachers were generally negative about the new curriculum, “If you don’t understand something, how do you roll out? Teachers are not robots, they are not computers, where you program,” he said. He revealed the lack of adequate approved textbooks for teachers and learners is also a problem, despite the government’s notion that books are available. “However much we get poetic about this curriculum it may not translate to actual teaching and quality work in the classrooms,” he said.