7 Core Competencies in Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC)

The Competency Based Curriculum (CBC) is replacing the old 8.4.4 system of education in Kenya. The CBC intends to be more practical and student-based. This means the teacher will be more of a facilitator in learning rather than being the main participant.

To achieve the national educational goals the government through KICD developed a Basic Education Curriculum Framework (BECF). The framework gives guidelines on how to implement the curriculum

In the BECF framework, it highlights 7 core competencies areas that should be covered which are, communication and collaboration, self-efficacy, critical thinking and problem-solving, creativity and imagination, citizenship, digital literacy, and learning to learn.

Core national values in CBC

The Department of Basic Education under the Ministry of Education is mandated to ensure the values that a good citizen of Kenya should have are inculcated to learners. These key values are included in the CBC curriculum to achieve the requirements of the Kenya constitution. Some of the values include:

  1. Responsibility
  2. Love
  3. Respect
  4. Unity,
  5. Peace
  6. Integrity
  7. Patriotism
  8. Excellence
  9. Care and compassion
  10. Understanding and tolerance
  11. Being ethical

7 Core Competencies in CBC

The Kenyan Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC) is founded on seven main core competencies to ensure a holistic human being after going through the curriculum. These competencies are the pillars or the foundation of what should be learned by all learners from basic levels of learning upwards.

Communication and Collaboration

This competence ensures the learner is capable of interacting with others within the community that they live in. This is a basic competency for all human beings from early age onwards. When people interact they can be able to collaborate to achieve a common.

Communication can be defined as passing messages from one person to another either verbally or non-verbal. When the message is passed it should be clearly understood by the recipient according to the intended context for it to be an effective communication. The curriculum aims to ensure the learner is trained from a very young age on how to communicate effectively using different methods of communication.

Collaboration on the other side, is the process where 2 or more people or groups of people work together to achieve a common goal. Humans are social beings and most of the time they work together with each other to accomplish a task. Children from a very young age should learn how to collaborate in mutually respectful ways to minimize conflict.

So, communication and collaboration as a core competence ensure that children from a very young age learn how to effectively communicate. When communication is effective collaboration becomes which leads to a better life.


This competency is the ability of a learner to have confidence in themselves to perform a given task. Self-efficacy is a person’s belief that they have the capacity and capability to achieve whatever goal they set.

The competency deals with how the student thinks, feels, and behaves when faced with a challenging situation. Do they see it as a threat or something that they can achieve? It helps a person to be able to set personal, educational, financial, family, or other types of goals and be committed to achieving them.

This helps deal with pertinent and contemporary issues in the curriculum since students will be equipped with knowledge on how to handle those issues. It gives the student self-awareness, and self-esteem, and improves interpersonal skills among others.

Critical Thinking and Problem Solving

Critical thinking is a type of thinking where you use systematic methods to analyse data provided to give an objective judgment of the situation. When you think critically you use logic and evidence to conclude the matter rather than use emotion to make the decision.

So, using critical thinking leads to solving life problems. Again critical thinking doesn’t limit a person to only one way of doing things. They can ask themselves if there other alternatives to solving the same problem. This means it allows an open-mind type of learning. Learners can see situations from different perspectives.

Critical thinking skill helps a person to continue learning throughout life and even come up with new ideas. It also helps them not to be too rigid when a different perspective of a situation is present to them than what they believe.

Creativity and Imagination

All things that exist today first existed in someone’s mind before they were converted into physical items. Imagination means being able to visualize ideas or items that are not physically present. After creating the image of the item in their mind then they can creatively assemble and create a physical object.

Creativity and imagination bring about innovation of new ideals and objects and new ways of doing things.

For example, a creative person can see a stone and see in it the statue of a mother and child. Others see mere stone but for them is a beautiful statue. From the stone they have seen, they imagine how the final statue will look like even before they start working on it.


Human beings live in communities that can be organized in different ways and levels. From the basic community which is the nuclear family to the whole world, humans are social beings.

Citizenship competency trains learners on the rights, privileges, and duties of a citizen or the community that they live in. As a community member what are the responsibilities of each person, what are their rights and privileges, and what are the limitations of those rights?

Every person should be able to answer those questions and many more to be able to live in harmony with others. By knowing your rights you can be able to defend yourself and also not violate the right of others.

The student should also be able to learn that the world is a complex community that has many interactions at different levels. They should learn that each community or county has different laws that govern them and that they should be respected.

Digital Literacy

Today we live in a digital world and every day new technologies are coming up. So today’s learners should have enough competency to navigate the ever-growing digital world.

The digital literacy competency should ensure that learners can use the variety of digital gadgets and technology available for a better life. The technology can include mobile phones, the internet, computers, and different software among others.

They should also learn about data security issues and how to counter them, cyber security, privacy, laws that govern information and data, and how to protect themselves online among others.

Learning to Learn

Those who will prosper in today’s world are those who are willing to learn, unlearn, and relearn every day. Every day new knowledge is coming up, old knowledge is becoming absolute, and new theories are being made. This means students should be able to adopt a way of lifetime learning.

From the day a person is born until death there is a new thing they can learn every day. So this competency ensures that student can be able to learn on their own every day every time.