Book publishers have called for a robust public education on parental involvement in the learning of their children as the Competency Based Curriculum (CBC) continues to be rolled out in the country.
The Kenya Publishers Association (KPA) Chairman Kiarie Kamau, who is also the East African Educational Publishers CEO, yesterday said engaging parents in the CBC learning will help them to understand and appreciate the strengths and weaknesses of their children.
The publishers also called for intensive teacher training programmes on CBC to be implemented to enable teachers to interpret the curriculum designs correctly.
“Parental involvement is a brilliant idea by the curriculum experts. It helps the parents to participate in the child’s learning experience and process, thereby enabling the parents to understand and appreciate the strengths and weaknesses of their children,” said Mr Kamau during a press briefing in Nairobi.
Mr Kamau said if parents are not involved, they cannot understand their children’s performance.
Currently, parents across the country have complained of over engagement in the CBC assignments for their children.
Education experts and parents have accused teachers of being unable to interpret the CBC curriculum designs by demanding expensive and unrealistic materials for learners’ assignments and practical lessons.
Parents in social media said some teachers demanding a whole chicken, a kilo of meat and sugar, maize, tomatoes and other foodstuff is making it too expensive for parents.
Other parents said the teachers are overloading learners with too many assignments, forcing them to swim on the floor and dirty rivers while others demand that parents buy cameras and printers for their children’s school assignments which ordinary parents cannot afford.
The publishers said when parents are engaged in the learning of their children, it will debunk the myth that learning starts and ends in the classroom.
They said learning happens throughout children’s daily activities and therefore, the need for public education and sensitisation on the benefits of parental involvement and how it should be conducted.
The Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) has since developed a parental engagement programme to sensitise them on CBC.
KPA said publishers are currently working on a memorandum to be submitted to the yet to be established CBC task force once it is set up.
Mr Kiarie said all authors, editors, proofreaders, designers and professionals who work on the books they publish get training from KICD, which vets all publishers before books are published.
Mr Kiarie said teachers should stop asking learners for expensive learning materials and instead use locally available resources.
“Having interacted with many teachers in the country, publishers agree that there is need to have more structured and intensive training of teachers to enable them have deeper understanding and appreciation of the curriculum, the assessment processes and use of locally available resources in teaching,” said Mr Kiarie.
Mr Joseph Muteti, a parent whose son is in Grade Five, said teachers should be retrained and guided to implement the CBC because they are the main problem.
“Teachers should not be demanding excessive items for school practical. Why would a teacher ask every child to come with a kilo of meat or a chicken,” he wondered.