Kenya: Get Involved in Your Children's Education, Parents Told

The government has asked parents to be actively involved in their children's education during the Covid 19 pandemic.

Education Chief Administrative Secretary Mumina Bonaya said the government is working on modalities to scale up involvement of parents in the learning of their children who have been at home since mid-March.

"Parents are the first and continuing educators of their children. They are not expected to teach, but to motivate their children to achieve their full potential," she said.

She was speaking at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) during a consultative meeting with the acting CEO Joel Mabonga and Council Chair Sarah Ruto.

Ms Bonaya said that parents have a shared responsibility with schools to ensure meaningful teaching and learning takes place.

The team is expected to come up with strategies that will enable parents and guardians, whose roles are emphasized in the Competency Based Curriculum (CBC), to create a conducive environment, not only for learning at home but also for the overall wellbeing of the learners.

The team was discussing on ways of creating awareness about the Guidelines on Parental Empowerment and Engagement developed by KICD in partnership with other partners.

The guidelines address the gaps in education that emanate from parents who are not well versed with their roles.

The guidelines also provide strategies on how parents can be encouraged be actively involved in their children's learning as they appreciate the various developments in the education sector.

Currently the KICD has been offering lessons through TV and radio programmes.

Parents has since termed the programmes as ineffective.

Ms Boyana said parents have a positive impact on the overall development of their children in areas such as acquisition of right morals, religious values, improved health and nutrition, increased enrolment, retention and transition in schools, academic achievements and appropriate career choice.

The out of class lessons gives the learners an opportunity to interact with their immediate environment and practice the values instilled in them at school.

"As learning continues to take place at home, we need not only focus on the academic dimension, but, ensure that the child is receiving guidance and a conducive environment is created for them to develop holistically without neglecting the physical, moral, social and psychological wellbeing of the child," Ms Bonaya said.

The acting KICD CEO Joel Mabonga said parents are important players in the success of homeschooling because they are the ones at home with the learners during this time when they are being exposed to alternative ways to ensure learning continues beyond the classroom.

"Parents just need to appreciate they have a noble role that is well captured in the CBC. Nobody is sure when Covid-19 will end for normalcy to resume in schools. They should not shy away or find excuses to put aside their responsibility," Dr Mabonga said.

KICD Council Chairperson, Dr Sara Ruto underscored the invaluable role that parents play in the education of their children saying they cannot be left behind in their children academic journey.

"Parents are the first educators, trainers and source of authority that a child interacts with.

Helping parents to skilfully identify a child's talent and potential, creates an enabling environment for the school to build on," said Dr Ruto.

Dr Ruto was appointed a week ago by Education Cabinet Secretary Prof George Magoha to chair a ten member taskforce committee to advise the government on the reopening of schools.

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