So I saw the competency based curriculum that KICD hopes that universities will roll out.
It is heart breaking.
Basically what universities are being asked to do is to write curricula that read like TPAD – a performance evaluation but for lecturers. Lecturers will be given a long list of testing tools (remember I said that CBC means more testing?). SOME of the testing tools include
Job competency tests
English as a foreign language tests
Leadership ability test
Q-sort scaling (what the heaven is that?)
Comprehensive Assessment of Team Member Effectiveness
California Critical Thinking Skills Test
Graduate Record Examination test
General Innovation Skills Aptitude Test.
We are also expected to teach skills like crisis management, teamwork, argument construction, intellectual risk and entrepreneurship.
Now, given that many Kenyans think that everything a business motivation speaker says has to be taught as a whole subject on its own, I’m sure many of you will clap. If you are one of them, please stop reading and go away. Let me speak to the Kenyans who care.
I’ve been telling you that KICD is lying when it says that CBC is learner centered. Initially, I thought it was employer centered. Now here I realize that it is actually management centered. This new curriculum is for managers to police teachers with boxes to tick. Notice that I havent mentioned students. Because they actually don’t feature.
I give up on the government education system. It will be terrible. It will reduce our kids to empty shells of workers. I don’t think that KICD even understands what it has done, or what it is doing. And getting a degree for the lucky kids will only be a paper that a politician can write on his jacket.
What is the hope? It’s probably for some of us to write a new humanities and arts curriculum and teach it outside the university system. The university is decaying, and I don’t see it survive 20 years.
Our new humanities curriculum will include even African sciences and the history of science, so that our people can understand that science is not exclusively Western. We will teach our languages and our histories, so that students can explore African and other world medicines, architectures and arts.
Like I said at The Whiteness Conference 2018 almost two months ago, we Kenyans should collect our peoples artifacts. Keep your grandparents’ photos and notebooks and dresses, start your own museums. When the revolution comes, we will have a government that will help you formalize your collections.
Let me end with what I tell every parent who has asked me what to do for their child.
Accept that the government government education system is bad and won’t improve. A British curriculum won’t help either. You can take them to the formal government school to get them official certification, but you must supplement what they will do in school because it will not be enough.
Take the child to festivals, parks, forests, let them sit with their grandparents and be told stories, read for them books and buy them books. If you can’t afford, lobby your governor to do that for you, including building libraries and museums. Be very, very deliberate about showing them African knowledge, African peoples and African artworks. We are going to start working on an African-centered curriculum so that we can share resources which you can use. If you can’t do it on your own, team up with a group of families so that you spread the work. You can organize programs over the holidays.
Remember that the wazungu taught us their language, religion and systems, thinking we wouldn’t resist them, but we still did. So no matter how bad it gets, remember that there is still hope.
Mungu ibariki Kenya.