Teachers And Learners To Go To School Up To Sundays: KUPPET Advices TSC
The Ministry Of Education and the Teacher’s Service Commission are deeply troubled as they try to devise a mechanism that schools will apply to recover a whole academic year. The schools are not spared either since the heads and tutors are in the same mess.
This awkward situation is as a result of the spiking cases of covid-19, which have caused an extension of school reopening dates for most classes. Currently, only grade 4, standard 8 and form four learners are in school.
Education stake holders have proposed reduction in lesson periods and class work, and extension of the learning weeks, as some of the options that schools can apply to recover the 2020 academic year.
The Magoha task force has also proposed elimination of summative assessment and adoption of formative assessment. The task force argues that summative assessment, which relies on school based exams, consumes not less than two weeks every term. Should a formative assessment be adopted, the two weeks can be saved for extensive syllabus coverage.
KEPSHA and KESSHA have jointly proposed synchronization of first term and second term work, ahead of the January 2021 reopening to ease syllabus coverage.
“We can reduce weekend and holiday breaks and adopt crash learning programmes,” suggested Nicholas Gathemia, the National KEPSHA chairman.
Gathemia strongly advocates for adjustment of school reporting time (for teachers and students), and adjustment of the duration of each lesson. In his suggestion, lessons should start an hour earlier and end an hour later. Should his suggestion be adopted, schools will begin lessons at 7.00 AM and end after 5:00 PM. This would demand that both staff and students must arrive in school by latest 6:30 AM.
National KESSHA chairman Kahi Indimuli, was for the idea of reviewing lesson durations to increase the number of lessons in a day. He suggested that lesson duration be reduced from 40 minutes to 30 minutes. To ensure more time recovery, Indimuli also suggested that subject choices be made in form two, instead of form three so that learners don’t strain so much with what they will eventually drop.
In his own wisdom, KUPPET secretary general, Akello Misori, felt that the ministry should increase school days from 5 days in a week to 7 days to create more study time. His suggestion would see teachers and students going to school from Monday to Sunday. “A week may not be five days. Ways must be found to utilize weekends and holidays, or half term breaks reduced,” suggested Misori.
The ministry of education is yet to roll out a rigorous academic programme, which will compress two terms in 4 months, so as to avoid delays in transition. After KCSE and KCPE exams, a fresh school calendar will start in June.
Akello Misori wants some topics to be eliminated so that only essential ones are covered. “We may not teach everything. We just need to teach critical areas that are measurable and have impact on learning and progression,” Said the KUPPET boss.
The teachers in the task force felt that what ought to have been covered in the lost terms could be carried forward to the next class, a suggestion that the Kenya institute for curriculum development, (KICD), rejected instantly, arguing that the curriculum must be fully covered.
KICD director, Charles Ongondo said, “We break curriculum coverage down to per week and innovative ways can be found to cover more work without reducing content.” His argument was that learning is a continuity thing and everything the learner learns in the present class is very critical for continuity in the next class.