Professor George Magoha must pay attention to all criticism geared towards the ongoing Grade three CBC assessment tests and the new curriculum in general.
Positive criticism helps one identify the strengths and weaknesses of an education system.
There has been widespread criticism regarding the ongoing grade three assessments especially its rigorous and time-consuming nature.
The teachers’ unions in Kenya have also expressed concern regarding the haste with which the new 2-6-3-3 curriculum was implemented.
The unions argue that the teachers were not adequately prepared for a successful implementation.
GRADE THREE ASSESSMENTS
Last week marked a very important milestone in Kenya’s history following the first-ever nation-wide assessment under the new CBC curriculum. The first set of pupils at Grade three levels in all Kenyan schools were taken through assessment models that would act as the backdrop for any further curriculum policies.
Proponents of this competence-based curriculum aim to facilitate a holistic development of the learners instead of focusing on summative assessments like KCPE and KCSE.
Kenya has shifted from the current 8-4-4 system to a new competence-based curriculum 2-6-6-3. This new curriculum will see learners spend two years in pre-school. The next six years will be spent in primary school before learners progress to Junior secondary (3 years). After this learners shall continue to senior secondary (3 years) and finally spend three years in college or university.
The ongoing Grade three assessments have attracted widespread criticism regarding the shallow methods used to assess the learner.
Teachers have also expressed concern about the few learning areas it covers. This gives room for doubt as to whether the tests will give a true picture of the learners’ competencies and skills.
Teachers unions have also poked holes about inadequate preparation of teachers. They thus fear that there could be a disaster in the making since teachers are the key tool in the implementation phase.
Civil society groups also fear that this new curriculum might further widen the gap between the haves and the have-nots hence promoting inequality which education seeks to end.
CBC parents have also expressed their displeasure with the routine home works and meetings that seem to burden them.
The Kenyan government especially the education cabinet secretary Professor George Magoha must wake up and smell the coffee.
Although he insists that CBC is not an examination, the thorough preparation and presence of teachers moving around prove the exact opposite. Therefore, the CBC assessment was a national exam by all standards.
Professor George Magoha must also pay attention to and address the numerous bottle-necks raised by teachers and key education stakeholders.
Some of these challenges include inadequate examination materials, challenges when handling big streams and the test’s time-consuming and shallow nature.
It is therefore too soon to declare the first national CBC assessment test a success.
Besides, the government should tread carefully to avoid falling into the same trap-ill preparedness and inadequate resources that marred the previous 8-4-4 system that the new one seeks to replace.