Universities in Kenya are in a hurry to conform to the competency based curriculum pedagogical teaching and learning. CBC is learner-centered, focusing more on the outcomes rather than the outputs.
It is more on what a learner can do with the acquired knowledge and skills, not what they can memorise. This is a big departure from the 8-4-4 system of education, which is being phased out gradually.
The charted institutions of higher learning do not necessarily have to wait for any order to effect these changes in their own curricula. They develop their curricula and run education calendars with a view to enhance one’s career prospects.
In the university and after graduating, the empowered are allowed to change the world. Therefore, universities should provide favourable environment where students’ minds and horizons are broadened in order to discern connections and analyze problems successfully.
The report by Prof Fatuma Chege-led Task Force on Improving Access, Relevance, Transition, Equal Opportunities, and Quality for Effective Implementation of Curriculum Reforms indicated that majority of university students are intellectual and studying humanities courses. But the aspirations of the Basic Education Curriculum Framework 2017, on which CBC is anchored are robust for the growth and development of the country.
The Vision 2030 and Sessional Paper No. 2 of 2015 emphasize more on the importance of science, technology, and innovation. This calls for universities to employ appropriate pedagogical approaches and sufficient resources for the realisation of the vision of education, which is to enable every Kenyan to become an engaged, empowered, and ethical citizen.
To achieve this, every Kenyan learner should be provided with world-class standards in the skills and knowledge they deserve and need to thrive in the 21st Century.
Universities are expected to invest more in the career pathways as provided in the BECF 2017. Learners entering Senior Secondary Education, comprising of Grades 10-12, after going through a wide range of learning areas to help them have a variety of areas to choose from, are expected to be ready to begin their specializations in their desired career paths.
Universities need to align their courses to the provided pathways — Arts and Sports Sciences, Social Sciences, and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. It is the time that universities have to be identified with the kind of learning pathways they offer. As this will be specialized institutions, providing opportunities for learners to focus on the field of their choice so do the tertiary institutions, including universities.
Tertiary and university institutions are very important since they will be refining these career learners and preparing them for the world of work. Prof. Fatuma’ Task Force also recommended the Commission for Higher Education to accelerate the development and review of the higher education programmes to adapt them to the three courses offered at the Senior Secondary School level
Therefore, requisite infrastructure development depending on the chosen pathways by the institutions is required to ensure there is a favorable environment for the development of the competencies identified in those pathways.
The seven core competencies are communication and collaboration, critical thinking and problem solving, digital literacy, imagination and creativity, citizenship, self-efficacy and learning to learn.