What you need to know:
- For effective learning, a teacher needs to understand the entry behaviour of learners
- But a bigger question is the enforcement of safety and health protocols.
The plan by the government to organise community-based learning to support learners out of school due to Covid-19 has not been properly thought out.
It is understandable what the government wants to achieve; keep learners busy and spare them the mischief that comes with idleness.
It comes against the backdrop of the realisation that the remote learning programmes offered by the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development as an alternative to face-to-face learning have not achieved the desired goal.
But the community-based learning as organised is not the best solution. There is no clarity on content and how it should be taught, since the lessons are being attended by learners from different grades and diverse backgrounds.
Second, for effective learning, a teacher needs to understand the entry behaviour of learners that is their levels of mastery of subjects taught. Third, learning is meant to be collaborative, which means that learners need to be familiar with their peers and the learning context. These are not possible now.
Safety and health protocols
But a bigger question is the enforcement of safety and health protocols. Core to this is social distancing and use of personal protective equipment such as face masks as well as sanitisers and clean water.
What we have seen so far is that most of the centres where the learning is being conducted do not have those provisions. So the question is: what is the level of Covid-19 preparedness in the community learning centres? How can we ensure the safety of the learners and teachers under those environments?
The government may be well-intentioned as it seeks to take care of learners who have been out of school for five months. But the roll-out is haphazard. We need a better strategy of helping the learners.