Kenya BECF Core Competencies for Basic Education

The Core Competencies for Basic Education form part of a comprehensive framework for pre-primary through secondary education in the Republic of Kenya (the Basic Education Curriculum Framework; BECF) that emphasizes a holistic approach to education designed to produce intellectually, emotionally, and physically balanced citizens. The BECF was developed by the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD), KenyaÕs national curriculum development center, to guide the countryÕs national curriculum reform efforts, and is the outcome of extensive stakeholder engagement, a national needs assessment study, and deliberations from a national curriculum reform conference and several benchmarking studies. The BECF outlines a vision for curriculum reform in Kenya, including the values, theoretical approaches, guiding pillars, and core competencies for basic education. The seven Core Competencies for Basic Education outlined in the BECF represent the Ònon-academicÓ competencies that students should develop across all academic subject areas in order to become engaged, empowered, and ethical citizens and thrive in the 21st century.

View All Term Definitions

Kenya BECF Core…communication and…self-efficacycritical thinking and…creativity and imaginationcitizenshipdigital literacylearning to learn

Breakdown by Domain

Domain Key

  • Cognitive 20%
  • Emotion 4%
  • Social 28%
  • Values 35%
  • Perspectives 7%
  • Identity 7%

Key Features

Context & Culture

  • Describes three "pillars" that support the design and use of the framework, each of which touches on issues of culture and context and how they are related to education, learning, and skill development:
    • Guiding Principles: Describes six guiding principles that underly the creation and use of the framework, which highlight the importance of increasing equal access and opportunity; promoting diversity and inclusion; differentiation based on individual needs and abilities; empowering and engaging parents; community service
    • Values: Promotes a values-based approach to education that seeks to develop and incorporate values outlined in the Constitution of Kenya
    • Theoretical Approaches: Framework is underpinned by developmental theories that emphasize the importance of social interactions, multiple intelligences, personal experiences and perceptions, and early childhood experiences/environments
  • Aligned to national and regional policy and goals, including ethical values outlined in the Constitution of Kenya, long-term development goals (Kenya Vision 2030), regional educational goals for East Africa, and other education policy documents
  • Report includes section on curriculum provisions for learners with special educational needs

Developmental Perspective

  • Provides general learning outcomes for three levels of schooling: early years (pre-primary and lower primary), middle school, and senior school, although does not specify which outcomes are aligned with which competencies
  • Summarizes developmental theories that influence the framework, including Erikson and Piaget
  • No specific learning progression provided for the core competencies

Associated Outcomes

  • No information provided

Available Resources

Support Materials

  • Reports on the curriculum needs assessments conducted with various stakeholders in Kenya on which BECF and the seven core competencies were based
  • Provides a variety of curriculum support materials for teachers, including handbooks and training manuals, including example curricular activities for special needs education that span multiple subject areas and each include which of the seven core competencies are being developed by that activity

Programs & Strategies

  • Provides detailed descriptions of subject areas to be covered in the Kenyan curriculum, noting that the seven core competencies should be integrated with and developed as part of curricular activities in these areas
  • Developer is in the process of creating programming for Values based Education (VbE); citizenship; community service learning; non-formal programs (clubs and societies, sports and games); guidance, counseling, and career services (peer education, mentorship, and learning to live); and parental empowerment and engagement
  • No specific strategies or activities for building the seven core competencies provided as the BECFÕs competency-based approach to learning favors local autonomy (e.g., teacher involvement in creating lesson plans) over a prescriptive curriculum

Measurement Tools

  • Includes guiding principles for competency-based assessment and outlines the types of competencies to assess (knowledge and understanding, practical skills, attitudes and values, and generic competencies)
  • Describes purpose of formative vs. summative assessments and provides examples of possible assessment types (e.g., observations, checklists, rubrics, questionnaires, portfolios, etc.)
  • Provides guidance for selecting appropriate assessment methods for different ages and types of learners, including those with special educational needs
  • No tools for measuring the seven core competencies provided

Key Publications