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East-Africa

Kenya Drops Colonial Education System, Switches to Competence Based Curriculum

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The Kenyan government has established a new state department in the ministry of Education to oversee curriculum reforms through the implementation of the Competence Based Curriculum (CBC).

While unveiling the new state department, President Uhuru Kenyatta said on Wednesday that the new department has been mandated to oversee the roll out of the new education system including the recommendations of a taskforce report dubbed ‘Enhancing Access, Relevance and Quality for Effective Curriculum Reforms Implementation’.

While presiding over the unveiling of the taskforce report President Kenyatta said CBC will make Kenya’s education system responsive to the demands of the modern world. He rallied Kenyans to back the process.

“The Taskforce has made several recommendations and consulted widely including through 11 sector-based pre-conferences. This is important because it underscores my Administration’s commitment to adhere to the tenets of public participation, as envisioned in our constitution.

“In this regard, to ensure effective implementation of these recommendations, and other curriculum reforms, I have on this 9th Day of February, 2021 set my hand and presidential seal and established a new State Department for Implementation of Curriculum Reforms vested in the Ministry of Education,” President Kenyatta declared.

He said the country is at a tipping-point with its education system where the old must give way to the new.

“It requires us to be bold, and not rigid. It calls us to imagine a system that creates responsible citizens as opposed to subjects; a system that celebrates the creative potential of all our children as opposed to one that leaves them with labels of failure, if they do not pass exams.”

“And a system that brings about freedom as opposed to conformity. This is the promise of the Competency Based Curriculum,” the President said.

President Uhuru said,“The purpose of the new system of ‘Learning to Learn’ is to allow our children to explore, innovate and unshackle their minds from the old and rigid molds of learning. This way they will be able to exploit their imagination, creativity, solve problems, use critical thinking, apply digital literacy, and feel a sense of civic duty as citizens.”

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East-Africa

Who Is Uganda’s Next CDF?

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As Ugandans anxioulsy wait for the appointment of the new Chief of Defence Forces- one of the most sensitive job in the country, Lieutenant General Wilson Mbasu Mbadi (above) is the soldier largely being discussed about.

The Position of CDF is currently vaccant after President Yoweri Museveni recently dropped Gen. David Muhoozi and appointed him as Minister of State for Internal Affairs.

Other names being focused on for the position of CDF include; Lieutenant General Elwelu Peter, Lt. Gen. Kainerugaba Muhoozi, Major General Leopold Kyanda, Lt. Gen. Musanyufu Joseph.

Going back to Lt.Gen.Mbadi, this senior officer is the current Deputy Chief Of Defence Forces and Inspector General of the UPDF. He was appointed to that position in January 2017.

Meanwhile, previously from May 2013 until January 2017, he served as the Joint Chief of Staff of the UPDF.

Wilson Mbadi joined the Uganda military in 1986. In 1991, he was commissioned, following the completion of a one-year Officer Cadet course at Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, in the United Kingdom.

While at Sandhurst, he graduated at the top of his class.

In 1992, he attended the Platoon Commander’s Course at the Uganda School of Infantry, at that time located in Jinja. In 1994, he attended the Uganda Junior Staff College, also at Jinja.

In 1998, Mbadi attended the Mobile International Defence Management Course, in Lusaka, Zambia. Also in 1998, he attended the Company Command Course in Tanzania.

In 2001, he attended the Combat Group Command Course at Armored Corps Center and School, in Ahmadnagar, India, doing very well.

In 2004, he attended the Senior Command and Staff Course at National Defence College, Kenya (NDCK). Also in 2004, Wilson Mbadi completed the Peace Support Operations Course (PSTC) at Karen, Kenya.

In 2005, he successfully completed a Diploma course in Strategic Studies at the University of Nairobi.

In 2007, he graduated with a master’s degree in Strategic Studies from the Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama, United States of America.

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East-Africa

Tanzania Requests For U$571 million From IMF To Fix Economy

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In a marathon to release Tanzania from the grip of unorthodox policies previously ordered by Late leader John Magufuli, the new President Samia Suluhu Hassan has pursued a different direction.

Her government has officially applied for a U$571 million loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to help in tackling economic challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We have submitted the application within the specified time. But I will provide detailed information in the near future,” Finance Minister Mwigulu Nchemba said on Wednesday shortly after a parliamentary session in Dodoma.

On June 10 Nchemba tabled the 2021/22 budget Worth Sh36.3 trillion in Parliament. Nchemba told the House that the requested funds were a low-interest loan aimed at tackling the social and economic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, IMF officials in Dar es Salaam and Washington have conditioned Tanzania to provide information on Covid-19 which the government has tightly guarded.

Tanzania government has not published data on Covid-19 infections since May last year.

IMF confirmed about the existence of talks with the government.

“When applying for pandemic-related emergency financing, evidence of the pandemic has to be available to substantiate the claim,” the IMF’s resident representative, Jens Reinke, told media.

The Covid-19 pandemic notwithstanding, Tanzania’s economy expanded at the rate of 4.8% last year. But this rate was lower than the government’s projection growth rate of 5.5%.

Dr Nchemba told the Parliament last week that, in 2021, the economy is projected to expand by 5.6%.

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Kenya Budget Statement Expected This Afternoon

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Over 59 million Kenyans are anxiously waiting to hear the Budget Statement scheduled for presentation at the National Assembly Thursday Afternoon at about 3PM or (2PM CAT).

Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani is currently preparing himself to appear in the National Assembly and make his 2021/2022 budget statement.

According to local Pundits that have over the years monitored the Kenyan economy, this is going to be the first time the budget statement will be presented ahead of the 2021 Economic Survey by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) which would have traditionally painted a picture of the previous year.

As per procedure, after, reflecting on the state of the Kenyan economy, Yatani will proceed to highlight areas of priority spending in the new financial year which dawns on July 1.

According to insider details, unlike budget days of years past, the 2021 budget statement is all but complete with the exchequer having shares both its final budget estimates and the Finance Bill which carries with it new tax proposals.

An insight into New taxes

In another first in years, the National Treasury has not proposed any new income taxes under the 2021 Finance Bill.

Nevertheless, Kenyans will not be spared from greater taxes as the government strives to meet growing spending plans.

For instance, bread will see its tax status shift from zero rating to exempt effectively raising costs for the basic consumer commodity.

At the same time, the cost of importing motorcycles, popularly termed as bodaboda will shoot up with Treasury proposing the adjustment of excise duty on the imports from a flat Ksh.11, 608.23 to a rate of 15 per cent.

At the same time, jewelry and alternative tobacco products such as nicotine pouches will attract excise duty at the rate of 10 per cent and Ksh.5000 per kilogram respectively.

Punters will also be hit as the 20 per cent excise duty on amounts wagers returns after its temporarily deletion last year.

Besides taxes, other proposals in the Finance Bill seek to empower the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) to better collections including a lengthened period to scrutinize tax payer records up to seven years from the current five.

Further, informants on tax matters will see their reward enhanced to a maximum of Ksh.5 million while the KRA will be allowed to contract third parties in the collection of digital services tax.

Both the budget estimates and proposals in the Finance Bill remain under scrutiny by the National Assembly with the house beginning its deliberations on the two key policy statements on Wednesday.

The pair of policies form the basis of the Appropriations Bill and the 2021 Finance Act, both of which will require final assenting by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

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