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All children have inborn ability to follow education curriculum

OPINION
By Kennedy Buhere | October 18th 2021

The basic education curriculum is concerned with general as opposed to academic or professional education. [James Omoro, Standard]

"There is a brilliant child locked inside every student." - Marva Collins, American educator

Slightly over a year before he retired, former Director for Secondary Education Robert Masese passionately appealed to principals of national secondary schools to educate all learners admitted into their institutions without reservations.

He said the Ministry of Education picked top students in every sub-county for national schools, with the results that some of the learners in arid and semi-arid lands (ASAL) and marginalised regions with 300 marks or less in KCPE examinations get admitted to the top schools.

“These students are as good as the others who score over 400 marks from high potential areas,” Masese argued.

The remarks were in response to the fallacy that KCPE candidates who score between 250 and 300 marks cannot successfully learn in a national school.

Masese, who was once the principal of Nairobi School, discredited this assumption.

The thesis is that the marks the learners from harsh educational environments get demonstrate that they have necessary prior knowledge, abilities, interests, attitudes to undertake the educational experience associated with secondary schools.

Ultimately, students who are admitted in national schools have, on average, substantially similar entry behaviour - the educational jargon for the fund of knowledge, abilities, and promise - as those joining other categories of secondary schools.

Masese saw no reason why - barring other factors that have little or no educational value - the learners cannot take advantage of the teaching and learning environment national schools afford the rest.

The public education system in all democracies is founded on a number of assumptions. The first is that all children have innate but varied abilities.

The second is that individual justice can be obtained when each individual develops his or her ability to the fullest.

The third is that an education system in a democratic political system provides an education that caters for all of its pupils' full achievement potential, without let or hindrance.

All children, short of brain damage, have intellectual capacity. The children have the ability to think, learn, plan, and execute anything, on their own volition or on instruction, with discipline.

The basic education curriculum is concerned with general as opposed to academic or professional education.

Basic education aims to encourage mental, physical development, as well as the development of the soul - in a nutshell, the mind, the heart and the body.

There is a necessary link between primary and secondary education curriculum.

Children who get admitted to secondary schools, regardless of categorisation, have demonstrated that they can, with appropriate support from the school community, develop their innate powers to the fullest possible potential.

That has been the latent vision of our education, now crystallised in the basic curriculum framework - the blueprint of Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC) — as nurturing every learner’s potential.

Our school system does not operate in a vacuum. The Ministry of Education has established policies, curricular and standards to guide schools to support every learner to learn to their fullest possible potential.

Swedish scholar, Urban Dahllo?f, argues that one of the factors that determine achievement levels of students is the time actually spent learning a curriculum unit or in general, content knowledge.

The Ministry of Education has taken this principle into account by stipulating a number of things: a cautiously sequenced curriculum content to be learned; school calendar, school hours, class hours, quality assurance system and other dos and don’ts.

In the end, it is the pace of students’ movement through the curriculum content that ensures learning takes place.

The time spent on the course materials - the repertoire of knowledge, concepts, ideas in a curriculum unit - determines not just the quality of learning taking place, but also how many students are actually learning. 

 -The writer is a communications officer

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