CBC is about creativity

Grade 4 pupils solve a word puzzle at Nyeri Good Shepherd School on March 8, 2021.

Many Kenyans are sceptical about the effectiveness of the competency-based curriculum (CBC). They feel it’s too expensive for a majority of parents. 

Their anger is due to the number of books they have been asked to buy for their children. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Last week, by the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) clarified that CBC has nothing to do with parents being asked to buy a collection of books. 

Teachers are expected to make rational decisions on what is required to aid learning, depending on where a school is located. 

The curriculum designs that the teachers rely on to prepare their lessons are clear on this. CBC advocates for use of locally available resources. CBC encourages innovation, originality, imagination and creativity in carrying out tasks. They do not, for instance, prescribe that assignments must be printed for it to pass the test.

The better understanding of CBC and what it entails is required. It’s designed to connect with Vision 2030 and link us with the world. It aims to help our economy grow and flourish by fixing the gap between education, skills and work. Our economy needs a creative workforce.


The CBC journey began in 2009 after a summative evaluation of the 8-4-4 system. The task force on realignment of education to the 2010 Constitution and global standards recommended a competency-based curriculum. 

The shift means turning the focus from teaching for exams and memorising facts to hands-on learning while appreciating the values of our society.

CBC seeks to ensure every child becomes “an empowered, engaged and ethical citizen”. Article 53 (1) (b) states that “every child has a right to free and compulsory basic education”.

Implementation of the new curriculum in phases is a deliberate, well-structured approach meant to ensure a seamless transition.

CBC is learner-centred. It’s a shift from the talk-chalk learning system to a hands-on mode of facilitating the learner to exploit his potential. In the 8-4-4 system, the teacher was everything in class and the examination was the ultimate goal. 

With a clear understanding of the new curriculum, we can all appreciate that our children are being nurtured to be of benefit to the society. 

So teachers, please don’t scare away parents by passing huge bills to them in the name of CBC, be creative and explore locally available materials to enhance practical learning.


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