What is Competency Based Curriculum (CBC)?

The CBC or the Competency Based Curriculum was introduced in 2007 by the Kenyan government to replace the 32-year-old 8-4-4 system. The new system also referred to as the 2-6-6-3 was designed by the Kenyan Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) to address shortfalls in the old system. It emphasizes on skills, knowledge, attitudes and values that learners are expected to have acquired at the end of seniour high school. They are supposed to apply competencies acquired to real life situations.

Seven core competencies of Competency Based Curriculum (CBC) are:

  • Communication and collaboration
  • Critical thinking and problem solving
  • Imagination and creativity
  • Citizenship
  • Learning to learn
  • Self-efficacy
  • Digital literacy

The values that Competency Based Curriculum (CBC) aims to instill during the learning process include:

  1. Love
  2. Responsibility
  3. Respect
  4. Unity
  5. Peace
  6. Patriotism
  7. Integrity
What does 2-6-6-3 education system mean?

The competency based curriculum is divided into levels. Each level goes with the age of the child.
CBC Levels
1. Early Years Education (EYE) from Pre-primary 1 and 2, to Grade 3.
2. Middle School Education from Grade 4 to Grade 9.
3. Senior School Education from Grade 10 to Grade 12.

In essence, a child is supposed to join school aged four years and complete the Early Years Education aged nine years. In Middle School Education, a child will study for three years before joining high school aged twelve years. Education in high school has been divided into two: junior school and senior school. Junior school has Grades 7, 8 and 9 and takes three years. Afterwards, a learner will choose one of the three  pathways to follow in senior school.

The pathways for Competency Based Curriculum are as follows:

1. Arts and Sports Science

  • Sports
  • Visual arts
  • Performing arts
  • Physical education
  • Community Service Learning

2. Social Sciences

  • Language and literature
  • Humanities and business studies
  • Physical education
  • Community service learning


  • Pure sciences
  • Applied sciences
  • Technical and engineering
  • Careers and technology studies
  • Physical education
  • Community service learning

Physical education and community service learning will be compulsory for all learners in senior school. Community service learning will involve:

  • Applying knowledge and skills in the community
  • Interacting with the community, experiencing the community, and learning from the community.
  • Developing employability skills.
  • Forging strong productive relationships with the community.

For a learner to graduate from basic education, they need to have at least 135 hours of community service outside classroom time. The time is calculated over the course of three years spent in senior school.

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