Stop Using CBC For Monetary Gains, Schools Warned
The Kenya Private Schools Association (KPSA) chairperson Mutheu Kasanga has cautioned prischools against using the new curriculum to profit themselves.
According to Kasanga, the move had made the competency-based curriculum (CBC) appear too expensive for parents.
She said that although CBC has some challenges, a section of private schools has made “extreme interpretations of what the new curriculum requires”, demanding a long list of books and stationery that a learner should take to school at the beginning of every term.
Parents have complained over CBC, noting that it has pushed up the cost of learning for them.
“We are seeing schools doing extreme interpretations of what the new curriculum needs. Some of the items in the list given by schools to parents are unnecessary. And we have seen that these issues have started this year,” Kasanga said.
Kasanga alleges that some booksellers have colluded with some school principals to include their books on the list for business purposes rather than learning, an act that the school directors are unaware of.
“We contacted a few schools who we had seen had gone overboard with their lists of books and asked the school principals to at least strike off a few. These are issues that we are addressing,” she explained.
“If you look at the curriculum design you will find that some schools have gone the extra mile to ask students to come with a ream of printing paper and chalks, among other things.”
These are items that ideally should be in the schools’ budget, under stationery.
“I know of a school that asked each student to come with a ream of printing papers and other items. If one class has a minimum of 25 students and they each bring a ream of printing papers. What is a school going to do with all these printing papers? I think parents should also interrogate some of these things and should not just blindly accept everything a school tells them to do,” Ms Kasanga revealed.
“Somehow we are caught between a rock and a hard place. For the 8-4-4 curriculum, you would find five subjects in one workbook but now each subject has its workbook. The good thing is that we are in talks with the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development. We also keep on reminding section heads to know that we exist in the same (economic) environment with the parents.”