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The reality of the cost of the competency-based curriculum

The reality of the cost of implementing the competency-based curriculum is dawning on parents of children who are learning under this new system, whose implementation begun two years ago.

Although observers agree that the new system is superior to the previous 8-4-4 system, critics of the new system say union says the new system will only work for the rich if implemented in its current form.

This week marked yet another milestone in the roll-out of the competency-based curriculum as the government embarked on the distribution of learning materials for grade four pupils.

but even as the government makes progress towards the overhaul of the 8-4-4 education system, the reality of the cost of the CBC system is dawning on parents that they dig deeper into their pockets.

To illustrate this further, one parent revealed that he has had to spend slightly over 4,000 shillings on stationery alone for a grade 2 pupil compared to about 3,200 shillings for a pupil who joined standard 5 this year.

The numbers that perhaps speak to the position long held by the Kenya National Union of teachers which maintains that the government may not be able to sustainably fund the new system in the near term.

The union further contends that the existing tracks on which the 8-4-4 system train rode on do not fit the requirement of the CBC system, with the union and parents alike now seeking a review of the new curriculum.

While there has been a wide consensus on the need to overhaul Kenya’s education system, opinion remains divided on whether the CBC is what the doctor ordered, at least from a cost point of view.

But, whether the government will adjust the new system to accommodate the prevailing economic circumstances facing most Kenyan households remains a matter of wait-and-see.

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