Stakeholders say Teachers cannot be trusted With CBC
Education experts are questioning ethics in the proposed Competency-Based Assessment (CBA) concept envisaged in the CBC, which will give teachers more powers over learners’ marks. These questions on the fairness and feasibility of planned school tests under the 2-6-3-3-3 education system have been raised due to Attempts by teachers to aid in cheating in the national examinations, KCPE and KCSE.
This comes only months after the government adopted planned school-based examinations under the Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC).
Teachers will play a key role in administering and scoring the learners 60 per cent of marks for the school-based assessments.
Under the proposed plan, one national examination for primary school learners will be developed, managed and marked under the supervision of the Kenya National Examinations Council (Knec) at Grade Six. And this examination will only constitute 40 per cent.
A similar practice will be witnessed in secondary schools, where national examinations will be administered at Grade Nine and 12.
Educationists are now worried that the new powers teachers have been handed to determine the future of children may be abused.
They argue that it may be used to propel some schools for commercial gains or award fictitious marks that may be detrimental on a child’s professional growth.
“We have seen teachers and even principals working hard to beat the security measures to leak the KCPE and KCSE examinations. If they can do this under the present tight circumstances where they even face jail terms and loss of jobs, what if they are in charge?” said Emmanuel Manyasa, Usawa Agenda Executive Director.
“How will we trust the teachers to fairly score the learners, given that they will literally determine whether your child passes or fails in the basic stages of learning?” He asked.
Teachers will play critical roles in identifying and nurturing children’s talents under the four pathways of Arts and Sports Science, Social Sciences, or Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (Stem).
The pathways are expected to exploit learners’ imagination and creativity, solve problems, use critical thinking and apply digital literacy, among other aspects.
Overall, the marks scored will be based on a holistic assessment of the learner, including established values and character and also how they relate with their environment and respect for others.
This means children who may perform well in academics but do not manifest mastery of good values may have their scores by teachers affected.
The stakeholders argue that implementation of the school-based assessment with such high premium scores will be a major challenge to fairness.
“The societal pressures that prompt cheating will largely remain the same. Need for high scores, appetite for money and promotions for best scoring schools will remain and will likely affect scoring,” raised a stakeholder.
Furthermore moderation of the schools’ scores by Knec may also be a challenge.
Paul Wanjohi, the national organising secretary for Alternative Provision of Basic Education and Training Association, termed the school-based assessments as a tall order.
“If I am a teacher who has been working hard to steal examinations under the tight circumstances what happens if I am now in charge of the tests scores?” asked Wanjohi.
“Unless we get rid of the notion that puts high premium on grades we shall never move forward. Employers ask for grades instead of competence.”