Parents to Wait Longer to Know Fate of CBC as Hearing Gets Postponed
Kenyan Parents will have to be patient concerning the fate of the Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC) ahead of the January 2023 double intake of Grade Six learners and Form One learners to secondary schools.
This follows the postponement of the planned hearing of a case filed by Ms Esther Ang’awa by the High Court in Nairobi. The case by Ang’awa, a parent and a lawyer, was challenging the rollout CBC and its implementation, submitting that it is too expensive for parents.
The case was set for hearing by a three-judge bench between Tuesday 27 to Thursday 29 at the Constitutional and Human Rights Division of the High Court in Milimani.
According to the Judiciary, the judges appointed by the Chief Justice in December last year to determine the matter are away on official duty. The Judges are; justices Hedwig Ongundi, Anthony Mrima and Anthony Ndung’u.
“Take notice that the hearing of petition of the bench matter petition E371 of 2022 (Esther Awuor Adero Ang’awa Vs Cabinet Secretary responsible for matters relating to basic education) will not proceed as scheduled as the judges will be away on official duties,” read the notice from the deputy registrar court of the high court.
“We advise that the matter will be mentioned on November 22, 2022. We highly regret the inconveniences caused.”
Ms Ang’awa withdrew her name from the suit, claiming she had been negatively profiled by the government. The suit is now being prosecuted by her lawyer Nelson Havi, former Law Society of Kenya president.
She filed the suit in September 2021, challenging the replacement of the 8-4-4 education system with CBC. She sought the scrapping of the CBC and its implementation.
Given the immense public interest generated by the petition, seven parties showed interest in joining the legal proceedings but only five were allowed by court.
They were the Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut), the Kenya Primary Schools Head Teachers Association (Kepsha), the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet), the National Parents Association (NPA) and the Katiba Institute.
Those rejected were rights lobby group Shadrack Wambui na Sheria Mtaani and Mr John Diro, a parent who sponsors the education of children across Kenya.
In the suit, Ms Ang’awa argued that the new system was rolled out without prior preparations and consultations, and that its implementation will harm children’s future. The government has denied the allegations and wants the lawsuit dismissed.
Ms Ang’awa, the parent of a child who was in Grade Three, said that CBC is financially burdensome for students and parents and has economic implications for learners, parents and caregivers.
She argued that its introduction was undertaken in an opaque manner and is shrouded in confusion because the government failed to consult and involve all stakeholders.
She also says CBC is discriminatory and contravenes the rights of children to education and free and compulsory basic education.
She urged the court to declare CBC inapplicable in the basic education of children.
She also questioned the training style under CBC. She explained that the new curriculum is based on vocational education and training approaches conceptualised for specific use in training adults in vocational skills.
The lawyer also said CBC imposes the economic burden of procuring course books, learning materials and curriculum designs on children, teachers, parents and caregivers.
“There is a wide public outcry about the manner in which the CBC has been imported from other countries (where it has failed) and implemented in Kenya without due process. The Ministry of Education has infringed the rights of children to basic education,” she said.
She urged the court to stop the ministry from further implementing CBC on the grounds that the rollout violates the Basic Education Act of 2013 and the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) Act of 2013.