Private schools have partnered with a local bank to roll out a nationwide online teaching and learning for its 2.4 million children during the Covid-19 pandemic. The initiative, dubbed ‘Masomo Iendelee, Linda Mwalimu’, seeks to keep children in private schools engaged and also get teachers in those some income to sustain them during the pandemic.
The plan by private schools is parallel to the Community Learning Initiative that will use teachers in public schools, already on Teachers Service Commission payroll. The initiative is a huge relief to private schools, some of which had already shut down or temporarily suspended operations.
It also comes after the government extended Sh7 billion loan to the academies. There are about 150,000 teachers employed by private schools. Kenya Private Schools Association (KPSA) chairperson Mutheu Kasanga said the 11,000 private schools partnered with Absa Bank Kenya to roll out virtual learning.
Ms Kasanga said the programme would reopen learning through online platforms, and also provide sustenance revenue for private schools. “KPSA has partnered with digital educational system and content provider EduVOD to activate virtual schools, virtual content, virtual assessments, and virtual teacher training to deliver holistic virtual learning,” said Kasanga.
She said parents would only pay Sh400 per month for their children to access the virtual learning platform. Under the private schools plan, parents will register children through the newly-launched KPSA Digital Education Management Information System (EMIS).
The system will register schools, students, teachers and learning outcomes. After registration, schools will have the option to activate the EduVOD Virtual School with the added choice to open or manage multiple virtual campuses.
The registered schools will also receive Teacher Training for managing/operating virtual classrooms. “The EMIS platform will also provide key data to education stakeholders, including Ministry of Education, national examinations agency, curriculum development institute, teachers' employer, teachers' unions among others,” said Kasanga.
The KPSA EMIS portal is also integrated with Payments Gateway to manage KPSA revenue collections. “Only registered and activated schools and teachers will have the option to apply for working capital and laptop loan from Absa Bank Kenya,” said Kasanga. “The bank will also provide the required working capital for schools to ensure they continue operating during this period,” said Kasanga.