The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) has released new guidelines for community-based learning in Kenya.
In a circular to regional, county, and sub-county directors dated August 11, 2020, the Commission directed teachers to participate in community-based learning from 12th August, 2020.
The circular reads: “Following extensive consultations with all stakeholders in the education sector on community-based learning as a means of engaging learners during the current period of COVID-19 pandemic, the commission has directed that all teachers under its employment shall undertake community-based learning programme without charging parents from 12th August, 2020 until further notice.”
TSC had earlier announced that it was developing a new approach to learning in response to President Uhuru Kenyatta’s call for teaching in villages and estates.
According to the Teachers Service Commission, the purpose of the programme is “to engage learners in productive activities with a view to acquiring basic knowledge related to the pandemic and other practical life skills.”
Guidelines for community-based learning
To ensure that the new approach is workable, the teachers’ employer has provided guidelines for its effective running.
In the rules, teachers will be mapped and registered within their local communities. The registration process is to be conducted by sub-county directors and curriculum support officers at the zonal and sub-county levels. This exercise will begin today, 12th August, 2020.
Teachers will play a primary role in ensuring that the programme runs according to plan. Head teachers are required to be at school at least once every week to monitor the program.
Nyumba Kumi will also be utilized to ensure that all learners are involved in the learning process.
Teachers will also be mandated to plan face-to-face engagements with a maximum of 15 learners. Furthermore, they should ensure that the COVID-19 guidelines are strictly followed by the participants of the programme.
The circular further suggests that the programme shall be managed, coordinated and implemented by TSC in collaboration with the Ministry of Education.
Ministry of Health will also contribute to the success of the programme by training teachers on its protocols, especially in relation to COVID-19.
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Online teaching has been captured in the new plan as well. Teachers will be encouraged to use modern pedagogical approaches to learning. They are also expected to communicate the learning expectations to learners. Moreover, educators ought to take socioeconomic differences of learners into consideration while implementing the programme.
Teachers are encouraged to promote self-guided learning throughout the exercise. This will ensure that students take part in the learning process and bring in their perspectives, imaginations, and abilities.