Webinar: Education Reforms- Implications of Competency Based Curriculum on Higher Education

The Department of Physical Education and Sport held a webinar on Education Reforms- Implications of Competency-Based Curriculum on Higher Education. The main speaker was Mrs. Jacqueline Onyango- Snr, Deputy Director-Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD). The webinar was attended by staff and students from the College of Education and External Studies, representatives from Kenyatta University, Masinde Muliro University, and the University of Helsinki. Download Presentation HERE. The webinar was officiated by the Chairman Dr. Simon Munayi and moderated by Dr. Chumba.

In 2017, the Ministry of Education launched the Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC), this curriculum is meant to reshape education in Kenya. Mrs. Jacqueline-KICD defines Competency-Based Education as “an organizational or systems approach to schooling and learning where students move ahead primarily based on the demonstration of what they know and can do, rather than time spent in class.” This approach recognizes that learners are uniquely gifted and that they can master a skill or competency that will prepare them for the world of work.

The Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development is training teacher training institutions across the country to understand CBC and align their academic programs with the new curriculum. Mrs. Onyango’s presentation brought out the key principles of the CBC; saying “CBC has an aspect of parental engagement and empowerment; where parents will play a critical role in the learning process. Additionally, CBC introduces an element of community service learning where the community also plays a role in teaching learners to implement what they learn in real-life situations”.

As the country moves towards achieving national goals of education which seek to promote Promote individual development and self-fulfillment, Foster nationalism, patriotism and promote national unity as well as Promote social, economic, technological, and industrial needs for national development; teacher training institutions need to change the way they have been training teachers. “It is necessary for us as a nation to tweak the way we have training our future teachers” Mrs. Jacqueline added. The changes introduced in basic education will also have implications on higher education; therefore Universities and other teacher training institutions need to start preparing the teacher trainees on CBC.  They must reorganize their teacher training programs. Mrs. Jacqueline emphasized that it will be important for students who are undertaking teacher training to have a deeper understanding of what CBC is all about as they are going to be the ones to implement the curriculum.

As we address the key competencies of a 21st-century learner, we also need to bring out the critical attributes of a 21st-century teacher. Mrs. Onyango paused a question to the participants; “Who is a teacher? What competencies does this teacher need to implement CBC? The new dispensation demands teachers be versatile and very engaging as they prepare learners to fit in the 21st century”. These teachers also need to meet the Teachers Service Commission requirements as well as the requirements of the implementation of the CBC. The 21st-century teacher needs to have emotional competencies, communication, and managerial competencies as well as digital literacy and E-Learning.

There are reforms in Competency-Based Teacher Education; teacher trainees can pursue various Diploma Courses like Diploma in Technical Teacher Education, Diploma in Secondary Teacher Education or Diploma in Primary Teacher Education. There Is also a Bachelors Degree (B. Ed) Teacher Education. Mrs. Onyango ended her presentation by imploring participants to do whatever it takes to cause the changes envisaged in the Competency-Based Curriculum.