The DN of August 17, 2021 carried a piece on the challenges parents and guardians face in guiding their children through the Competency-Based Curriculum.
It's a unique component that distinguishes our curriculum from similar ones in other parts of the world. We are all proud of the fact that CBC is skill-based.
Nobody is against the curriculum per se. What many experts are against is the manner in which it’s being implemented. Focus is on teacher retooling and infrastructural preparedness.
Going through the article, ‘Parents cry foul over CBC burden’, we get a picture of teachers who haven’t understood the philosophical underpinnings of the whole concept of parental/guardian empowerment and engagement. This boils down to poor retooling of teachers.
It’s as if we got the curriculum design and development well but slipped in its implementation. From the so-called ‘national piloting’ of the early years to now parental empowerment and engagement, and to some extent community service learning, what we have been treated to is a ‘confusing programme’.
In change and management of change, curriculum implementation is a critical cog in the wheel of the development process.
Thus, teachers and field officers have to get everything right. No gambling should be entertained. Retooling of teachers should always be accompanied by piloting of the new curriculum. This will enable the experts to establish whether the implementation is meeting challenges so that appropriate measures can be put in place.
Was this done to get the views of teachers on how to go about addressing the issue of parental engagement? Your guess is as good as mine.
Let’s assume it was done, but were or have parents/guardians been inducted on how to go about engaging with their children? It is incumbent upon the policy implementers to see parents and guardians. They need to be empowered.
My anecdotal investigation reveals that little if any effort has been directed at empowering them on how to engage with their children. This is a major blot in our quest at the sound implementation of the innovation. As many parents and guardians grope in the dark, we make gigantic miss-steps in our CBC journey.
If teachers were well re-tooled, parents would be comfortable.
Teachers have misinterpreted the philosophy of this component. They have assumed it is synonymous with homework. The two are diametrically different. The latter should be given to the learner on a lesson basis while the former should be periodic, mostly at the end of a strand or sub-strand.
The learner can do homework without the involvement of the parent or guardian. Teachers and parents/guardians should hold a conference to understand what is expected of them.
Agumba Ndaloh, Nandi ([email protected])