Competency-based curriculum is the way to go

At the recently concluded national dialogue attended by educationists and education policy makers, a call was made to revolutionise education for the country’s sustainable development. How best can this call be achieved for a knowledgeable future generation and a self-sustaining economy?

At the recently concluded national dialogue attended by educationists and education policy makers, a call was made to revolutionise education for the country’s sustainable development. How best can this call be achieved for a knowledgeable future generation and a self-sustaining economy?

For years, there has been invariable outcry for a fundamental change in education, to be able to address the concerns and of course, set the pace for a brighter future. The most recent was on making higher education more affordable and, expanding access to quality programmes that will prepare students for the workforce.

In today’s higher education institutions, many stakeholders and other education policy makers have turned the attention to competency-based education, to revolutionise the sector and achieve the much preferred aspirations of housing a knowledgeable labour force.

It is clear that institutions in the margin face challenges ranging from unskilled labour, financial exhaustions, among others, regarding developing and implementing a competency-based education curriculum. It is, however, important to note that the rewards from the new form of education once fully implemented will be much greater.

Competency-based instruction is a sound step in professionalising education. Looking at the entirety of the competency-based curriculum would probably help us understand the notion and be able to digest it well.

Why a skill- based curriculum?

Most people believe that education is only defined by its input, taking the example of how many hours a teacher spends schooling mathematics as opposed to another subject taught by a different teacher in that specific time. Such has remained a prime element in all curriculums in the margin.

Because of the existence of excessive programme overload in many educational institutions throughout the world, education policy makers decided to push for formulation of objectives so as to better the structure of education.

In this respect, therefore, proficiency becomes the primary alternative with the focus on a training programme regarding what the students are able to do based on what they were taught over the years.

In this case, therefore, all stakeholders in the realisation of the competency–based curriculum must be able to give a projection of the could-be end results of the training such that they can systematically assess the entire training programme and evaluate whether it has catered for the required education objectives or not.

Many countries such as Finland, Germany, South Africa, the Netherlands and Norway have developed their own competency framework which acknowledges the needs of the local populace for the training programmes within the context of their competency definitions.

Stakeholder’s engagements

It’s patent that competency–based curriculum is ‘wanting’ on how best it can be implemented; the appropriate academic content for effective teaching and, learning. With well-coordinated education policy makers and other stakeholders, the competency-based education curriculum will thrive.

Stakeholder’s annual engagements, deliberations and assessments on the performance of students will help institutions to come up with more appropriate strategies of the curriculum, with accomplishments based on competency-based teaching. They will also devise additional suitable material for teaching in this kind of curriculum.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

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