Critical analysis of the foundation and the principles of Competency-Based Curriculum in Kenya: Philosophical perspective



Competency Based Curriculum, education, philosophy, 8-4-4 system


In about four decades, Kenya has implemented three radically different systems of education. This has come due to the demand for a more proactive, efficient, responsive and foundational system of education that can be able to inculcate proper knowledge, skills and values which foster right competencies, attitude and character that is suitable for the contemporary society. The demand for the right educational system is crucial and timely because the society has undergone unprecedented technological advancement of global information spiking that makes the whole world to share concerns, expectations, desirability and general worldview. This has necessitated the need for constants review, reforms and revision of the educational system so as to march this unparalleled transformations. One such changes in the system of education that has elicited great reaction is the shifting from 8-4-4 to Competency Based Education which is midwifed by the new Competency Based Curriculum (CBC). In reference to this, various scholars have come up with arguments regarding the gamut of CBC focusing on both the trivial and mundane, on one hand and the most spectacular and momentous aspect of this curriculum, on the other hand. Notwithstanding this, one of the thing that has remained unanswered is whether there is actual and real philosophical change in the shift from 8-4-4 to Competency Based Education offered by the new CBC. The concern is anchored in the basic assumption that education and philosophy are interdependent.  They are interdependent on the sense that philosophy is the reflective component and education is the active component which together support human life. Ideally speaking, philosophy underpins all knowledge which education espouses. It is the guide and the inspiration of education. It clarifies the aim, goal and objective of education in the society. With this reciprocity in mind, this paper intends to investigate whether Competency Based Education and curriculum in Kenya is based on different philosophical foundation from that of 8-4-4. It will interrogate the philosophical nature, fundamental principles and the theoretical foundation upon which competency based education is offered with a view of showing if there is real and actual shift from that of 8-4-4.


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How to Cite

Ogwora, E. T. (2022). Critical analysis of the foundation and the principles of Competency-Based Curriculum in Kenya: Philosophical perspective. Research Journal in Comparative Education, 3(2). Retrieved from