Parental engagement under CBC is the new normal

A mother with her two children, reading a story from an App. [Courtesy, NABU]

As the implementation of the Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC) progresses, the concept of parental engagement has come to the fore, amidst complaints that they are doing the bulk of the assignments.

According to parents, children are given assignments, in which they have no option but to fully participate, even as questions emerge on what happens to those who cannot read or write.

The Ministry of Education has however explained that there was a huge disconnect between parents and their children hence the need for assignments meant to build relationships.

The CBC task force report indicates that there is a connection between parental empowerment and engagement, value-based education and community learning service.

The task force also states that parental empowerment is the process undertaken to enhance the capacity of parents or guardians so that they can actively participate in holistic development of their children in and out of school.

According to the report., it is imperative they are reinforced through the engagement and empowerment of parents in a wider collaboration with teachers and the community in which they and their children live.

This will ensure that values learnt at home and in school remain part of a meaningful lifelong practice among learners.

Amidst concerns that the assignments for CBC, which is now in Grade Six, there is a need for parents to appreciate they have a task in enhancing life-long learning for their children by creating a home environment where the learners can implement what is learnt in schools.

Parental engagement should start way before children join school, which subsequently grows as they progress to higher levels of learning.

And it should not stop at any given point. Now that schools are on a long holiday, parents should not abdicate their role to mentor their children.

Yes, they have been an active part of their children's assignment and that engagement should continue all the time.

Educationists have also added their voice on the aspect of engagement saying that parents need to spend time with their children to nurture life skills.

Parents are also critical in creating a reading culture and spaces for this purpose. This could involve just sitting back and maybe reading storybooks. Advancement in technology has made this an easy venture through the emergence of digital storybooks that can be accessed in the palm of your hand. One such example is the NABU App that hosts hundreds of storybooks available in mother tongue.

Similarly, with technological advances, parental control is required to avoid channels that destroy children's morals and values. In doing this, there will be an even better parent-teacher collaboration, which will go a long way in achieving learning outcomes and also a population with positive education indicators.

The Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD), through the parental empowerment and engagement guidelines, says that parents play an important role in the holistic growth and development of a child.

According to KICD, many parents are less involved in the parenting and learning processes of their children due to changes in family structure, economic changes where parents have to work sometimes away from home, and technological advancement where social media strongly influences the values and behaviours of family members.

KICD indicates that parents are the first educators, trainers and source of authority that a child interacts with and there is a need for parents to skillfully identify a child's talent and potential, which creates an enabling environment for the school to build on.

The writer, Beryl Oywer, is the Country Manager of NABU Global Inc.

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