The government is working on modalities to scale up involvement of parents in the learning of their children who are at home due to the Corona virus pandemic.

This follows concerns that some parents are still struggling to ensure their children follow the “Out of Classroom Programmes” that are being facilitated through broadcast and digital platforms-radio, TV and the Kenya Education Cloud (KEC) online platform. Chief Administrative Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Mumina Bonaya said parents have a shared responsibility with schools to ensure meaningful teaching and learning takes place.

“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,” Ms. Bonaya said during a consultative meeting at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD).

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.

 One of the options on the table is creating awareness about the Guidelines on Parental Empowerment and Engagement developed by KICD in partnership with other partners to address gaps in education that emanate from parents who are not well versed with their roles. The guidelines 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.

Informed 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.

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 who is also the Chairperson to the ten-member team recently constituted by Education Cabinet Secretary, Prof. George Magoha to advise the government on the reopening of schools. 

Dr Joel Mabonga, the Ag. KICD CEO 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.

The Competency Based Curriculum (CBC) focuses on identification and nurturing of learners’ talents and equipping them with 21st-century skills, knowledge and attitudes.