BY SAM ALFAN.
The High Court has allowed former Law Society of Kenya President Nelson Havi to take over a case seeking to block the government from further implementation of Competency Based Curriculum (CBC).
A three judge bench of Hedwig Ongodi, Anthony Mrima and Anthony Ndung’u allowed the substitution of Havi from lawyer Esther Ang’awa.
The court directed that all pleadings, proceedings and all documents filed be amended to indicate Havi as the petitioner.
Ang’awa sued the Ministry of Education complaining that the new curriculum was burdening parents.
She later withdrew from the case saying she has been negatively profiled by the government and state agencies. The lawyer claimed that negative sentiments by state agencies will prejudice her and the education of her child.
The judges said the impact of the petition goes beyond the Ang’awa and it was only fair and just that the substitution sought be allowed to pave way for a determination of the weighty issues raised in the petition and which are of great public interest.
“We find that the substitution of the petitioner (Esther Ang’awa) with applicant (Nelson Havi) in this matter would serve the interest of justice in line with the constitutional principles and objectives as set out in this analysis,” ruled judges.
They added that furthermore, Ang’awa’s interest is in line with Article 3(1) of the constitution which obliges every person to defend the constitution and Article 22(2)(c) which grant her locus standi in the matter.
The judges perceived that Ang’awa was not championing the personal rights of her child only and orders sought evidently involved great public interest.
Havi had applied to be substituted as the petitioner after Ang’awa informed the court that she was no longer interested in pursuing the case.
The petition has also sued Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development, Kenya examination Council and Teachers Service Commission as parties in the case.
It seeks to stop the government from further implementing the curriculum arguing that its rollout was unlawful.
The petition states that the Ministry of Education rolled out a curriculum for basic education purporting to phase out and replace the 8-4-4 system through sessional papers and policy instead of legislation.
According to the petition, no identifiable document or instrument upon which the CBC curriculum can be traced as one developed in the manner set out in section 73 and 74 of the Basic Education Act NO. 14 2013 as read together with section 4 of the KICD Act.
Further, the case states that the government has undertaken the unlawful action enumerated by publishing learning materials without any curriculum having been developed in accordance with the constitution.
The petition also contends that the CBC curriculum has sought to impose an economic burden of procuring course books, learning material among other school items.