Challenges of Implementing Competency-Based Curriculum in Teaching English Language at Key Stage 1: A Case Study

Shihanath Ibrahim

The recent reform in the Maldives National Curriculum, a shift from knowledge based to Competency Based Education/Curriculum (CBC) requires a change in the instructional practices, students’ learning experiences and the way of assessment. This research intended to explore English Teacher’s perceptions, challenges and instructional practices of implementing CBC in Language Classes at key stage at 1 (Grades 1, 2 & 3). Adopting a qualitative case study approach, the study invited four trained teachers from a Primary school in one of the Atolls as participants. The data were collected through in-depth semi-structured interviews and classroom observations of four English lessons.

The results suggested that teachers face a variety of challenges which hinder the effective enactment of CBC in teaching and learning. Findings revealed that major problems root from the low ability of English language of students which inhibits the effectiveness of CBC in language classrooms. The observations showed that teachers employ activity based lessons the assessment of competencies were not done as required in CBC. In the light of the findings, it was recommended that teachers need more training on CBC and the assessment of Competencies. Additionally, concerned authorities like Ministry of Education need to provide quality and relevant teaching and learning resources which align with the competence based curriculum to be successful.