International Baccalaureate integrates AI, ChatGPT into its programmes in Kenya


The International Baccalaureate (IB), a global leader in international education, is set to revolutionize the learning landscape in Kenya by conducting a comprehensive and collaborative review of its programmes targeted at students aged 16 and over.

By integrating Artificial Intelligence (AI) into its programmes in Kenya, IB marks a significant milestone in the future of innovative education preparing students for the future, fostering critical thinking, personalization, collaboration, and creativity.

According to Fidelis Nthenge, Director of Curriculum Development, “We believe that by reviewing and creating a future-oriented curriculum, we are equipping our students with the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in a rapidly evolving global job market. The initiative will empower them to be adaptive, innovative, and ethical global citizens ready to contribute to the world around them.”

Recently, Harvard University announced it will be using an AI tool powered by ChatGPT to help teach beginner computer science courses. Dubbed as the CS50 Bot, the generative AI tool has been rolled out to about 70 students as part of the university’s introductory class into the Computer Science program as a supportive tool for students. 

IB is adapting and transforming its educational programmes and assessment practices so that students and teachers can use these new AI tools ethically and effectively. While AI technology, including ChatGPT, offers significant advancements in various fields, the IB underscores the importance of working with schools and educators to support students with the ethical implications of using AI tools inside classrooms.

However, according to UNESCO, the impact of ChatGPT on higher education has been immediate and divisive. Although its applications in higher education are extensive, many universities have already banned it over fears of student plagiarism, and several countries have blocked ChatGPT. The main concern that has been expressed about ChatGPT in higher education relates to academic integrity and educators have sounded alarm bells about the increased risk of plagiarism and cheating if students use ChatGPT to prepare or write essays and exams.

But IB is committed to equipping students with the necessary skills and competencies to succeed in the 21st century. IB’s continuous curriculum evaluation and its adaptation to new innovative technologies, represents a global and transformative impact for both students and teachers alike as it fosters seamless accommodation of the changing times. It is equally in line with Kenya’s Vision 2030 intent to provide globally competitive quality education for development.

UK universities are also drawing up a set of guiding principles to ensure that students and staff are AI literate. IB aims to have it students and teachers literate and adept at any technological advancements and changing global landscapes, including AI. The initiative aims to provide a transformative education that empowers the organisation’s diverse community to contribute to a more peaceful and sustainable world while preparing young people to flourish individually, with others and with the shared planet.

The IB believes in the importance of a collaborative environment to foster excellence education, and this holistic programme level review will embrace a wider IB community, from students and alumni to educators and staff. The purpose is to make IB programmes, subjects and assessments more flexible, future-oriented and responsive to school and student contexts by placing choice, well-being and real-world relevance at their core. continuous evaluation of the curriculum, the IB is set to rethink education and design transformative experiences for students.

IB programmes have been offered in the country for over 40 years with a current presence in 11 Kenyan Schools such as the MPESA Foundation Academy, Aga Khan Academy, the Nairobi Academy among other key schools across the region. IB intends to develop future-ready students by molding them into critical thinkers, courageous risk-takers and empathetic human beings in an environment that prioritizes their well-being. To date, renowned personalities and global leaders from a broad range of disciplines have studied in IB schools in Kenya, where IB methodologies have provided them with lifelong opportunities and the sense of purpose they need to thrive throughout their lives and contribute to making the world a better place.