Teachers will be required to arrange classes of not more than 15 learners in estates and villages for four hours daily.
Teachers will also be required to register with education officials within their locality to facilitate planning of face-to-face lessons.Teachers Service Commission (TSC) is fine-tuning the new guidelines as it prepares to roll out free community-based learning.
The programme targets more than 10 million learners in public schools that are not offering virtual lessons like most private academies.
The children have been home since March when schools were shut to contain the spread of Covid-19. They remain closed until next year.With many study weeks lost and cases of early pregnancies and drug abuse among learners reported each day, the community-based programme is expected to ease parents’ burden.
Under the new community-based learning programme, classes will take place in open places and halls under strict adherence of Ministry of Health Covid-19 protocols.
During the face-to-face lessons, teachers will be required to engage learners on life skills and values such as weeding, cultivating, grazing animals, storytelling, planting, debating life issues and hygiene, among others.
Tutors will also be required to offer guidance, counselling and psychosocial support as guided by the code of regulations for teachers. In addition to these, teachers may also provide learning activities in reading and numeracy and other subjects of interest to learners to keep them engaged.
This means teaching classroom work to cover parts of the syllabus lost due to the prolonged closure of schools may be possible with the requirement that teachers group the learners based on their age and classes.
And grading of learners will also be permitted, as teachers will be required to adopt group work with emphasis on peer-to-peer learning. “The teachers should use discussion groups during learning and even grading can be done among peers,” reads the draft guideline.
The details are contained in draft TSC guidelines for community-based learning programme. The commission will monitor and supervise the programme through decentralised services at regional, county and zonal level.
The development comes days after Education CS George Magoha said the ministry and TSC will opt for a community-based learning approach. Magoha said the decision was arrived at during an education stakeholders forum on teachers’ engagement on community-based learning during the Covid period.
To roll out the plan, Magoha said the ministry would collaborate with chiefs and use the Nyumba Kumi initiative to assemble learners who will be taught at no cost. The draft TSC guidelines say the Ministry of Interior will identify the learners and the venues for the lessons while that of Health will ensure Covid-19 protocols are adhered to.
TSC says regional, county and sub-county directors and curriculum support officers will coordinate and monitor the involvement of teachers. Orientation of teachers on learner engagement will also be carried out.
At the same time, the TSC guidelines will require teachers to register with curriculum support officers and sub-county directors within areas they are currently living.
This means teachers will not be required to travel to their workstations, as they will be deployed to manage classes from where they presently live.
And while in the designated learning venues, teachers will be required to monitor the progress and status of learners and provide the information to curriculum support officers.
The Ministry of Interior will monitor and ensure no learner fails to participate in the programme.
While teaching and interacting with learners, teachers will be required to emphasise modern pedagogical practices, like group work, peer feedback and blended or ‘flipped’ learning. The activities may also be conducted online and may help to extend students’ attention spans.Classes will also be advised to utilize radio, television and online content within their reach. This means that learners will be allowed to use digital devices such as laptops, tablets and smart phones during lessons.
The commission, however, warns teachers to be aware of digital gaps that may affect teaching from home situations.“Students may be living with family members who impact engagement to technology problems, students may have older technologies or slower Internet speeds to different learning styles. Teachers need to take these differences into account when helping their students,” says the guidelines.
The TSC rules will require teachers to utilise local resources during learners’ engagement and conduct remote daily or weekly follow up with students and parents.
“They are to develop task-based activities for learners to undertake during the session and even while with their parents at home,” reads the document.