Catholic bishops in Kenya have urged the faithful to participate in an ongoing education review process to help the country develop a good system, that aligns church values, boosts development, and safeguards the good of the learners.
The bishops’ call comes as a 42-member team appointed by President William Samoei Ruto to review the national education system continued to collect citizens’ views across the country.
The bishops had met for their plenary in Mombasa on 10 November.
“We as the catholic bishops will make every effort to ensure that the outcome of this consultation will guarantee that our education system is value-based and helps our children to be God-fearing,” said Archbishop Martin Kivuva Musonde of Mombasa, the chairman of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops. “Therefore, we encourage Kenyans to take advantage of the ongoing process of reviewing the Competency-Based Curriculum by coming out to give their views.”
The team 42-member team was formed following numerous complaints from Kenyans that the Competency Based Curriculum (CBC) which President Uhuru Kenyatta’s government introduced in 2017 heavily burdened parents. The new system - which introduces junior secondary at Grade Six - is made to replace the 8-4-4 system that delays secondary education to Year 8 which the late President Daniel Arap Moi unveiled in 1985.
The bishop said they have been following the education review process, as shepherds, and as main stakeholders in the education of children and in the education sector in Kenya.
Kenyans are used to transitioning teenagers into high school, but most parents say they are not willing to send their children to secondary schools when too young, over possible harassment by older students. They are also acutely aware of questions of affordability in different systems.