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Why your child’s career is now firmly in the hands of teachers

By Augustine Oduor | February 11th 2021 at 00:00:00 GMT +0300

Pupils at Ogenya primary school in Nyando, Kisumu county after receiving books worth Sh1 million from Longhorn publishers in partnership with Standard Group on January 22, 2021. (Collins Oduor, Standard)

Teachers have been handed more powers over your child’s career in future in sweeping reforms under the new education system.

In addition to imparting knowledge, teachers will also oversee holistic education of learner, and closely monitor and guide their choices, which will include character and behaviour under the track system.

This now gives the teacher a say in what a child becomes after school as opposed to the current scenario where rote learning and passing of exams are the major determinants of a learner’s career path.

Under the new curriculum that lays less emphasis on cut-throat national examinations, more weight is rested on learner-centred education with proper guidance from the teachers.

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According to the new changes on administration of primary school-based assessments, which will account for up to 60 per cent, a child’s future will not entirely be on academic performance.

Assessments to be conducted at primary and secondary levels will not only bear academic performance of the children, but also the overall growth of the child with clear markers for extra curriculum strengths as well as academic biases.

At senior secondary schools, teachers will also play critical roles in identifying and nurturing learners’ talents under the three pathways of arts and sports science; social sciences; or science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

The pathways are expected to exploit learners’ imagination, creativity, solve problems, use critical thinking and apply digital literacy, among other aspects.

Overall, the marks scored will be based on a holistic assessment of the learner, including established values and character and also how they relate with their environment and respect for others.

This means children who may perform well in academics but do not manifest mastery of good values may have their scores by teachers affected.

The new roles put the teacher at a strategic position in moulding the children into a holistic being during the entire education system.

As the rollout of the new curriculum begins, the next four years will be crucial for the Government to lay out an elaborate plan to facilitate a smooth changeover from 8-4-4 system to the competency-based curriculum (CBC) also known as 2:6:3:3:3.

A detailed plan of activities seen by The Standard reveals that by 2025, enough classrooms should have been constructed to foster smooth transition of learners from primary to secondary schools.

After completion of primary education at Grade 6, the learners will join junior secondary school (JSS) for Grades 7, 8 and 9, which will be domiciled in the present secondary schools.

The report proposes progressive expansion of capacities of existing secondary schools to accommodate more learners.

Similar demands to increase capacities are raised for TVETs and universities in the broad plan to roll out the new education system.

Ease transition

The schedule indicates that between now and 2025 the country will witness a flurry of activities that will touch on staff recruitment and improvement, infrastructure expansion, courses revision and review of admissions criteria to ease transition.

At basic education level, the Ministry of Education should develop a database for the existing public primary and secondary schools, including those in special schools by June this year.

Around the same time, the ministry should have developed infrastructure norms and standards for all basic education institutions and teachers training colleges (TTCs).

The timetable requires that between now and December, the ministry should have developed and operationalised a framework for infrastructure management and sharing for primary, secondary and TVET institutions.

The report recommends that between now and December, the Government must map all TVET institutions to determine their needs and human resource capacity.

Upgrading and expansion of all existing infrastructure in TVET institutions to align with CBC should also take place by December this year.

However, new constructions for TVET institutions in every constituency to enhance pathways should be completed by December 2023.

Infrastructure audit for all TTCs should be done by December 2021.

Overall, the report requires an elaborate plan on staff training and development. The minimum entry grade to TTCs must be raised to C by March this year and guidelines published.

At the university level, guidelines on the establishment of new universities must be done by 2023 and 2025.

And between now and 2024, the report recommends an audit of universities’ infrastructure to determine capacity to host CBC pathways and tracks.

On admission to various levels of education, the report says between now and December this year, all guidelines for placement of learners into junior secondary school shall be complete.

Criteria for placement into senior secondary schools, which will host the various pathways and tracks, should also have been developed by December this year.

At TVET level, the report says a review of admissions criteria must be completed by December 2022. By this time, an inventory should have been created to guide senior secondary school students on TVETs.

Admission criteria for universities, aligned to CBC, should be done by December 2022. Framework for inter-university transfers and from universities to TVETs to facilitate students mobility should also be completed by the same period.

On staff management, the report projects that from May this year, the Teaches Service Commission (TSC) should prepare its projections of teachers’ needs under the CBC.

It is also expected to start continuous training for all teachers to align with CBC.

The mandate of Centre for Mathematics and Technology in East Africa (CEMASTEA) should also be expanded to provide in-service training of teachers on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

At TVET level, the timetable requires that training of all trainers and instructors on relevant content and pedagogical skills should be completed by December 2023.

During the same time, a review of the minimum standards for TVET trainers to include compulsory industrial attachment should have been done.

Strengthening of Kenya Technical Training College (KTTC) to provide trainers for the TVET sector should also be done during same period.

At university level, recruitment of additional academic staff to match demands occasioned by CBC must be done between now and December 2023. And all university academic staff should have been trained on CBC between July this year and December 2023. An inventory of human and capital resources must also be in place by 2023.

On financial support mechanism for learners, streamlining of all secondary bursary and scholarship programmes must be complete by December 2022.

Increase of budgetary allocations to Helb to expand loans, bursaries and grants to learners in TVETs should be complete by December 2023. Establishment and operationalisation of TVET Funding Board must also be completed by December 2023.


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