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Comparing the British and CBC Curriculums: Which is right for your family?

Updated: May 29

Comparison Between British and CBC Curriculum - Elimu Pus
CBC or British Curriculum?

Choosing the right curriculum for your child's education is a crucial decision. It requires understanding a family's educational goals and how they are preparing to achieve them. Here’s a comprehensive comparison of the British National Curriculum (BNC) and the Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC) to help you make an informed choice.

Understanding Your Needs

Before diving into the specifics, it's essential to assess your family’s unique needs and objectives. Each curriculum has its merits and may fit differently depending on your circumstances. The choice largely depends on your educational goals, financial capacity, and future aspirations.

International Recognition

British Curriculum:

  • Global Recognition: Highly recognized worldwide, making it advantageous if you plan to be out of the country.

  • Established History: With over 30 years of existence, the British curriculum offers a stable and well-established framework.

  • Comprehensive Education: Designed to provide a well-rounded education covering a broad range of subjects, including sciences, humanities, arts, and languages.

  • Structured Learning: Organized into Key Stages (Key Stage 1-5), aligning with students' age and development, ensuring a steady progression of learning.

  • Multicultural Emphasis: Embraces multiculturalism, preparing students for a global society.


  • Local and Growing Recognition: While not as globally recognized as the British system, students from CBC can still gain admission to international universities based on merit and determination.

  • Emerging Framework: Introduced 7 years ago, CBC is still in the process of establishment, with frequent changes that may lead to instability.

Cost Considerations

  • British Curriculum: Generally more expensive than CBC.

  • CBC: While more affordable, it may have unforeseen costs associated with the implementation of practicals at home.

Teaching and Learning Approach

British Curriculum:

  • Project-Based Subjects: Includes several project-based subjects like music, drama, food and nutrition, global perspectives, and ICT.

  • Inquiry-Based Learning: Emphasizes inquiry-based learning, especially in Math and Science.

  • Accessibility: Generally perceived as easier for average students to pass compared to CBC.


  • Practical and Project-Based: Emphasizes practical skills and project-based learning.

  • Environmental Interaction: High interaction with the environment as learners acquire materials for practicals and projects and practice different occupations and ways of doing things.

  • Balanced Assessment: Considers both classwork and co-curricular activities, offering a comprehensive evaluation of a student's abilities.

Parental Engagement

British Curriculum:

  • Lower Parental Involvement: Compared to CBC, the British curriculum requires less parental engagement.


  • High Parental Engagement: Learners need to acquire and be taught some skills by parents, requiring significant parental involvement.

Support for Unique Abilities

British Curriculum:

  • Tailored Education: Subject selection, teaching methods, and exam policies are designed to support unique abilities.


  • Talent Development: Focuses on practical skills and talent development, making it suitable for nurturing individual student strengths.


Choosing between the British and CBC curriculums depends on a family's specific needs, financial capacity, and long-term educational goals. Both curriculums offer distinct advantages that cater to different aspects of student development and future opportunities. A thorough discussion and personalized assessment can help in making the best choice for your child's education.

Final Thoughts

Each family is unique, and the right curriculum will vary depending on individual circumstances and goals. By understanding the differences between the British and CBC curriculums, you can make a more informed decision that aligns with your educational aspirations. If you need further guidance, we are here to help you navigate this important decision.

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