Competency Based Curriculum (CBC) in Kenya will be assessed through the Competency Based Assessment Curriculum Framework (CBACF).
Competency is the ability to apply appropriate knowledge, skills, values and attitudes to successfully perform a real-life task. CBC is an education programme focused on the learner’s ability to apply the knowledge, skills, values and attitudes to successfully perform a real-life task.
At the end of the learning process the learner will be equipped with the ability to apply a set of knowledge, skills, values and attitudes to successfully perform a real-life task.
Competency Based Assessment is the process of gathering and interpreting information on what the learner knows and can do on the specified learning outcomes. This is done using a variety of assessment tools such as written tests, checklists, questionnaires, observation schedules, journals, portfolios, rubrics among others.
There are 3 levels of Competency Based Assessment (CBA) which include; Early Years Education Assessment (PP1 to Grade 3), Middle School Education Assessment (Grade 4 to Grade 9) and Senior School Education Assessment (Grade 10 to Grade 12). The details for each one of these levels is described below.
- Structure Of Early Years Education Assessment
The learners will undertake 3 assessments at the specified times. Regular progress of the learners from PP1 to Grade 3 will be reported through Continuous Assessment (CA) for placement at a given level & to identify learners with special needs so that he/she is correctly placed in a given level of learning. At the end of the year in each grade (1 to 3), the learner’s progress from Grade 1 to 3 will be provided through a School Year Report (SYR) and at the end of Grade 3 the learners progress will be assessed through Kenya Early Years Assessment (KEYA) before joining Grade 4. This is summarized in figure 2 below.
2. Structure Of Middle School Education Assessment
The learners will undertake 3 assessments, School Based Assessment (SBA) will be available from Grade 4 up to Grade 9 to determine the level of learning and identify learners with special needs, at the end of the year in each grade, the learner’s progress will reported in a School Year Report (SYR) to indicate their progress, at the end of Grade 6 the learners progress will be assessed through Kenya Primary School Education Assessment (KPSEA) before joining Junior Secondary School and at the end of Grade 9 learners progress will be reported through Kenya Middle Years Assessment (KMYA) before joining Senior Secondary School. This is summarized in figure 3 below.
3. Structure Of Senior School Education Assessment
Just like in level 2, the learners in Grades 10 to 12 will undertake assessments. School Based Assessment (SBA) will be available from Grade 10 up to Grade 12 according to their career path ways (Arts & Sports Science, Social Science and STEM- Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) and also to identify learners with special needs. At the end of grade 12 the learners will assessed through Kenya Certificate of Basic Education (KCBE). Note that this is the only certificate which will be offered in Kenya Basic Education by the current Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC). After this assessment (KCBE) the learners will be provided with the opportunity to join tertiary institutions and the world of work. This structure is summarized as shown in figure 4 below.
Why CBC and CBA?
Overtime the Kenyan Basic Education Curriculum Framework has changed from 7-4-2-3 in 1963, to 8-4-4 in 1985. Over time the 8-4-4 system became academic and examination oriented leading to 3 key problems;
- DISCONNECT between school content and the world of work. Youth unemployment is on the increase. Many Learners exit school without skills for work and skills for life. Therefore need for learners with competencies. Kenya’s economy is rapidly changing. Some of the jobs will be transformed by 2030. There is need to prepare learners for new possibilities. The 21st Century demands citizens who are multi skilled. The new system seeks to produce a learner with relevant COMPETENCIES to thrive in a rapidly changing world.
- DISCONNECT in realizing the national goals of education which emphasis core values and principles such as nationalism, social equality and responsibility. Therefore the school system needs to mold learners to acquire values that support peace and national unity. Value Based Education and parental involvement.
- DISCONNECT with the needs of the 21st century which has been dubbed as a knowledge and skill age that demands a new set of competencies. The 21st Century society is a society in which knowledge and well thought out ideas are key source of economic growth. The school system needs to develop learners who are able to creatively solve problems.
Thus there is a big shift in assessment as indicated in table 1.