Participants in a group discussion during the Assessment under the Competency Based Curriculum workshop held in Dar es Salaam campus, Tanzania
The integration of Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC) into East Africa's educational framework signifies a strategic shift towards equipping students with 21st-century skills. However, the transition from traditional content-centric teaching to competency-based education presents a challenge for educators. To discuss this and more, the Aga Khan University's Institute for Educational Development, East Africa (IED,EA) through the Centre for Continuing Education and Lifelong Learning (CELL), organized an insightful workshop on CBC assessment.
The workshop, hosted at the Dar es Salaam campus in Tanzania, gathered over 70 educators, quality assurance officers, tutors, and education stakeholders from both public and private institutions. The main objective of the workshop was to empower educators with a comprehensive understanding of assessment methodologies aligned with CBC principles.
”CELL is your partner in enhancing your teaching expertise, it is dedicated to refining your knowledge and skills as an educator. These workshops offered at IED, EA will support teachers to professionalize their teaching profession,” said Prof Jane Rarieya, Dean at IED, EA.
Participants had a chance to explore their understanding of CBC and its learner-centered approach, which empowers students with practical skills, attitudes, and values for real-life use. In group activities, they exchanged thoughts on the significance of assessment within the CBC curriculum and delved into relevant approaches and strategies for CBC.
”Previously our assessment model focused more on cognitive domain rather than the other two domains of learning that is, psychomotor and affective domains,” said Dr Winston Massam, faculty at IED, EA. “With CBC, assessment is supposed to be holistic, focusing on all the three domains. It was crucial to build the capacity of educators around the holistic approach to assessment. Research shows that while teaching and learning is adopting CBC approaches, assessment continues to focus on content-based strategies.”
Educators were encouraged to use holistic assessment in both theory and practice as a critical tool in ensuring that the four Cs which include: Critical thinking, Creativity, Communication and Collaboration are coded as new basic skills for our 21st century learners.
Diana Kombole, a teacher from Tambaza Secondary School said, “Assessments conducted through CBC should have the primary goal of enhancing student learning and providing valuable insights for instructional improvement. As a result, educators ought to shift away from conventional paper-and-pen assessments that lack the purpose of aiding teachers in comprehending student progress. Instead, they should adopt approaches that effectively facilitate the understanding of student development, thereby fostering academic growth and accomplishment.’’
IED, EA remains committed to enhancing teacher capabilities by addressing prevalent gaps in East African education. This workshop marks the inception of a series of capacity building workshops, ranging from one to two days to week-long sessions, aimed at continuous professional growth.