It now emerges that the CBL programme that was recently implemented by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) was motivated by two key reasons:
- Teachers should not earn salary for work not done
- Students are becoming too wild and untamable. Completely out of control.
A principal who chose to be anonymous revealed to Education Central that the community based learning was instituted under the pressure of World Bank, Bretton Woods, and the IMF.
These financial organizations are the biggest sources of funds for projects and developments in the education sector in Kenya. They operate under a capitalistic and free market model, which encourages active participation of the private sector in the economy. Thus, these financial institutions have conditions that must be met before availing development funds, loans and grants to the government.
One of the conditions is to strengthen the private sector and minimize government interventions. According to these financial institutions, government should not be paying its employees for services that have not been rendered. This follows the Geneva Convention principle on “equal pay for equal work.”
The Equal Pay Act states, “Each Member (of the ILO) shall, by means appropriate to the methods in operation for determining rates of remuneration, promote and, in so far as is consistent with such methods, ensure the application to all workers of the principle of equal remuneration for men and women workers for work of equal value.”
TSC seems to have heeded this principle to ensure that teachers get paid for work of an equal value through the Community-based Learning programme.
Secondly, the government implemented the CBL to keep students busy at a time when formal schools are closed. The programme is informally structured and involves activities that will engage learners in their communities. This includes weeding, storytelling, cultivation, debates, agribusiness, and life skills. Accordingly, teachers are required to register for the CBL in the localities where they reside.
It is now evident that COVID-19 will not stop any time soon. Meanwhile, students are sculpting out of control. Some girls have unfortunately been impregnated, and little activity is done to propagate learning among young people.
These demands have placed the government in a dilemma – trying to educate its young populations, keeping teachers under payroll, and averting the spread of Corona Virus. This has necessitated the implementation of community based learning approach.
Following this development, teachers might be retained to work in their allocated neighborhoods when schools reopen. This concurs with the mainstream gossip that teachers might eventually be localized to teach in schools within their communities.
This notwithstanding, it is extremely important for teachers to support the government’s efforts to tame students and impart positive attitudes and knowledge on them. Curriculum based learning will help the country move forward despite the ravaging COVD-19 pandemic.
We encourage teachers and parents to embrace the new normal. Go to your nearby registration center. Register to work with children in areas within your humanly possible reach. Make the world a better place by coaching and mentoring the young people. Help them become responsible citizens and contribute positively to societal progress. Your participation will avert teenage pregnancies and indiscipline, and will prepare future leaders for better governance in our country.
For those who have taken up this noble task, here is a copy of life skills notes which you can use to teach essential skills in your local community.