Be careful of virus, teachers in community learning told

Monday, August 17th, 2020 00:00 |
Joy Lorna Adhiambo, a Form One student of Lugulu Girls High School conducts free community-based learning at Shirere Estate in Kakamega county. Photo/Courtesy

Irene Githinji and Noven Owiti

Kenya Primary School Heads Association (Kepsha) yesterday urged teachers on community based learning programme to exercise extra caution to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Kepsha chairman Nicholas Gathemia said teachers should not feel threatened over this programme, contrary to what he termed as misleading reports that Teachers Service Commission (TSC) has forced all tutors to take up community learning.

While he described the programme as a noble idea, Gathemia said it is also a risky affair as it involves interaction of different people. 

“The concept is a welcome idea, and we support it. However,  we would like to advise our teachers to take great caution while implementing it.

Nobody should feel threatened about this. Take caution of risks and be wary of people out to take advantage of the situation,” said Gathemia.

Gathemia said community learning is not a new concept, only that it has not been as active as was the case in yesteryears.  

Registration process

“Our stand as school heads given the prevailing circumstances caused by Corona is that if we are to do community learning, we should be involved well aware of risks that would be involved.

You must fully observe the Ministry of Health protocols to avoid being infected,” advised Gathemia.

He explained that community learning does not basically involve reading and writing as it happens in a normal classroom setting but is more about imparting life skills and values.

Gathemia was, however, concerned with the process of registration witnessed last week in some areas, saying there was total disregard of the Ministry of Health protocols on safety.

“We are calling upon MoH to also train teachers who have volunteered for the community based learning. We need our teachers, parents  and children safe at all times,” he added.

Pivotal role

Last week, Education Cabinet Secretary Prof George Magoha regretted that this concept has been misunderstood and blown out of context.

“Community teaching was meant to teach children in the locality where they live with a teacher who lives among them,” said Magoha.

Last week, Teachers Service Commission issued guidelines on the programme, which provided the implementation process of community based learning.

Elsewhere, Magoha at the same time has been challenged to produce a curriculum for teaching pupils under the proposed community based learning program.

The Kenya Union of Special Needs Education Teachers (KUSNET) has accused Magoha of failing to provide teachers with guidelines on how to teach children in the community.

The Ministry of Education directed teachers last week to begin registration for teaching pupils in their locality.

But KUSNET General Secretary James Torome has blamed Magoha for failing to provide teachers with a curriculum for exercise.

Speaking during a meeting with KUSNET members in Rodi Kopany township in Homa bay County, Torome argued that teachers are still confused on how to teach pupils outside their schools.

“Teachers in Kenya teach using a curriculum which the CS has not provided us with. We urge him to develop a curriculum for teaching children in the community,” said Torome.

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