Was Kenya ready for the Competency Based Curriculum (CBC) education system?
That is the question on the lips of many parents and other education stakeholders even as the government appears helpless.
Parents are reeling under the weight of the high cost of the new CBC. Children are carrying heavy backs on their backs. But that is not all. Daily, they are asked to bring in different materials.
Most parents were not fully prepared to meet the full financial cost of the new education system that emphasises on practical skills rather than theory. Cost of books and learning materials are unrealistically high.
Even as government has delivered textbooks to schools, parents are directed to buy more books and other items from specific outlets – in a way to confirm cartels are using school heads to fleece unsuspecting parents.
Items range from buying assessment books, pupil’s files, luminous paper and moulding clay, wamong others. Grade Four and Five are required to buy more than 20 exercise books, Kiswahili dictionary (kamusi), a Bible, an English dictionary, hymn book, geometrical set, ruler, pencil, pen, and three rolls of tissue.
As strange it could turn out to be, schools won’t allow pupils in class until they secure materials, including manilla paper, luminous paper, among others.
Although the government provides capitation to public schools to buy stationery, which should cater for the additional learning materials, it cannot be understood why schools are demanding that parents buy the many materials.