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Schools Cautioned against Coercing Parents to purchase Course Materials

The Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) has dismissed claims that the competency Based Curriculum (CBC) is expensive, as the government procures books for learning in public institutions.

Responding to claims that parents are being asked to purchase a lot of learning materials for the new CBC curriculum, the KICD Chief Executive Officer, Prof Charles Ong’ondo said CBC does not prescribe a long list of learning materials to support curriculum delivery in schools as teachers are expected to select the most appropriate course books from the approved ones.

In a press statement sent to newsrooms, the CEO said given the prevailing economic circumstances, it is unfair for school heads to demand that parents buy all the books that publishers bring forward.

“Publishers have done a recommendable job. We interact with great ideas during evaluation but we have to agree that not all of these books should be made compulsory to be bought by parents,” Prof. Ong’ondo.

He added that schools could purchase a few of the books as reference materials by teachers and not necessarily as books that pupils must have in class.

The CEO further noted that CBC practical learning can be promoted in various ways without asking learners, particularly those in Early Years of Education to purchase many books.

“CBC has nothing to do with learners being asked to come to school with a heap of textbooks,” said Prof. Ong’ondo. He said the government procures books for learners in public schools, whereas other books used are complementary learning materials that ought to be optional.

The CEO said the curriculum designs that teachers rely on to prepare learning lessons provides for suggested learning materials, whereby teachers are expected to make rational decisions on what should be used to aid learning, depending on where a school is located.

Ong’ondo added that such cost effective approaches to learning enhances imagination and creativity; and critical thinking and problem solving, which are some of the core competencies for Basic Education.

He said that parents are free to choose from the wide collection of approved curriculum support materials and should not be coerced to invest in the supplementary course materials.

By Bernadette Khaduli

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