The much-hyped competency-based curriculum (CBC) is here with us. Yes, like it or not. Grade three pupils in Kenya will be taking their assessment examination this October. This is bound to happen against the backdrop of great uncertainty and confusion. This came to the fore when the then Cabinet Secretary for Education Ambassador Dr Amina Mohammed gave a public address on the unpreparedness of the Ministry of Education to roll out this curriculum.
However, a few days later, the story took a new twist when the Ministry of Education changed hands and Professor George Magoha, the current CS for Education not only implemented it but also assured Kenyans of a desirable outcome. The train had left the station, there is no turning back. So the buck stops with the parents who are one of the key stakeholders in the education sector. What role do they play to ensure a smooth implementation?
THE ROLE OF KENYAN PARENTS IN THE COMPETENCE BASED CURRICULUM
1. Availing necessary learning resources
As a norm, no education systems can run smoothly without the required resources. Therefore, CBC being one of them, is no exception. It demands more resources because it extensively nurtures the learner’s talents and creativity, unlike the 8-4-4 system that is examination-oriented.
This therefore means that parents should provide materials such as paintbrushes, cotton wool, paint, cloths, carton boxes, card boxes etc. These will go a far way in boosting creativity. Needless to say, parents must dig deeper into their pockets to meet the par.
2. Availing themselves whenever they are called upon
Unlike the 8-4-4 system which emphasized the mental development of learners, the Competence-Based Curriculum aims at forming an all-round learner. Consequently, learners are given tasks that must be completed daily. This is where you need to chip in as a parent to help your child improvise some of the materials to achieve the desired goal. Your input is indispensable since these learners are still young and hence need a lot of guidance in executing the task at hand. Furthermore, parents must read aloud to them if they have to boost their literacy skills.
3. Noting the areas that their children are gifted in and their general competencies
It is your role as a parent to be vigilant if your child has to make it in this new curriculum. If a continuous assessment shows that your child’s performance is below expectation, then it is time to employ a different method or strategy to achieve the desired learning outcomes.
4. Equipping their children with fundamental life skills
These comprise etiquette, toileting, proper grooming, and safety among others. Parents should also enlighten their children on environmental preservation habits such as proper disposal of litter, tree planting and keeping pets.
5. Providing love, care and basic needs for their children
Lastly, parents are obligated to offer mandatory needs to promote ease of learning. These needs encompass nutrition, clothing, access to sound healthcare and shelter.