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Homework is For Your Kids, Not You: KICD Tells Parents

Homework and assignments given to children should not be done by their parents, Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) chief executive Charles Ong’ondo has said.

Prof Ong’ondo said parents should instead facilitate the children to work on the assignments independently.

“The competency based curriculum (CBC) does not make parents do homework. They are only required to guide the children,” he said in Naivasha  Friday.

The KICD chief executive added that in the new curriculum guidelines, parents need to enhance the learning achievements of their children. They are required to do so as guided by the teacher.

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Parents have been complaining about children being given difficult tasks.

They say the curriculum is expensive, as teachers – especially those in private schools – demand that children buy many learning materials.

A case was filed by a lawyer in court on Thursday seeking to stop the CBC implementation.

Prof Ong’ondo said the curriculum focuses on seven core competencies for basic education, which teachers are required to test through homework and other assignments.

He said school assignments are meant to ensure children have communication and collaboration skills, are critical thinkers and problem solvers and can grow their imagination and creativity.

Children should also be able to have a sense of citizenship, digital literacy, learn by themselves and develop self-efficacy.

“If a child has been given an assignment and you the parent decide to do the work, then you are not helping him or her develop and acquire these competencies,” Prof Ong’ondo said.

He added that it is through the assignments and engagements that learners meet the intended purpose of the CBC, “which, unlike the 8-4-4 system, has shifted from knowledge-based to focus on practical learning, development of skills and nurturing values”.

Prof Ong’ondo said plans are underway to conduct a countrywide engagement with parents on the new curriculum and urged Kenyans to air their grievances within the established structures of schools.

“Guidelines on parents’ engagements have been developed and are on the KICD website,” he said.

Kenya National Examinations Council (Knec) chief executive, David Njeng’ere, said the CBC core competencies are significant in the 21st century as they are meant to harmonise the country’s education with regional systems.

“Instead of people questioning digital literacy in schools, for instance, we should deal with the challenge. Doing away with it will increase the gap,” he said.

Dr Njeng’ere added that Knec is planning a pilot study in schools from September 27 to October 1 in preparation for the summative assessment at Grade Six.

The purpose of the study is to establish the suitability of the assessment tools, difficulty level of items, appropriateness of language and reporting format for learners’ competencies among others.

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