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ELECTION 2022

Virtual learning plan a step in right direction

EDITORIAL
By Editorial | Jan 28th 2022 | 2 min read

Teachers Service Commission CEO Dr. Nancy Macharia (left) confers with Director Quality Assurance Reuben Ndamburi (right) during the launch of live streaming of lessons by TSC at Alliance Secondary School on Wednesday, January 26, 2022. [Samson Wire, Standard]

The enforced 10-month closure of schools in 2020 due to the threat of coronavirus made a solid case for online learning. Traditional learning methods, while still the preferred mode of learning, will now be complemented by virtual learning as envisaged in a plan by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC).

TSC has commissioned a two-month virtual teaching and learning pilot project involving 12 schools in 10 counties. Under this project, students in select schools will share virtual lessons in sciences, mathematics and English subjects. To make it a success, TSC has trained 163000 teachers for the project.

Indeed, online learning can address emergency situations like that imposed by Covid-19 as well as teacher shortages in some schools. Not only is there serious disparity in the way schools are staffed, such disparities have given some schools an edge over others in terms of quality education yet at the end of the process, all learners are subjected to the same exams.

Rural schools, especially, feel the pinch of staffing inequality since most trained teachers prefer urban schools. In areas like northern Kenya, teacher shortages are experienced due to the threat posed by the Somali based Al Shabaab terrorists.

Online learning could be the answer to these challenges if well executed and financed. There are challenges, but they are not insurmountable. For instance, there is need to improve network connectivity and where possible, provide WiFi services. Additionally, power connectivity and supply should be improved. The much talked about computer labs in schools should be actualised to enable learners access online classes with ease.

Even as TSC seeks to make virtual learning a success, it is not lost on Kenyans that most schools in urban areas were able to conduct lessons even when schools were closed, hence covered most of the syllabus. TSC has taken the right step.

 

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