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July 7, 2020
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Out Of Classroom Learning Programme

KICD Chair, Dr. Sara Ruto receiving a gift from East Africa Star Times General Manager, Mr. Andy Wang at KICD Council Room.

By Erick Omulo,

KICD Corporate Communication Officer

The Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development has enhanced its coverage and transmissions of the interactive radio and television lessons, dubbed Out of Classroom Learning Programme (OCLP).

Learners from pre-primary to secondary levels who are currently at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic can access the digital lessons through the EDU TV channel, KBC radio and the Kenya Education Cloud (KEC).

Following a directive from the Ministry of Education that KICD upscale curriculum delivery through digital and broadcast lessons, the institute has developed additional educational programmes to support learning at home. The content is appropriate for the targeted 15 million learners in Primary and Secondary schools, as well as teachers.

The radio and TV lessons address all the curriculum areas. What is being offered on radio is the same content delivered on the Kenya Education Cloud (KEC).

The main objective of the Out of classroom Learning Programme is to keep learners busy at home by exposing them to educational content tied to the curriculum during the COVID-19 period. It is not clear for how the learners will remain at home as the government confronts this disease. Therefore it is only prudent that the learners are not left on their own, to continue handling themselves normally including engaging in group activities, where social distancing is not observed.

The Institute has been working in close partnership with education stakeholders and other organizations in making sure that learners have access to the Out of Classroom Learning Programme.

KICD Council Chairperson, Dr. Sara Ruto welcomed partnership engagements, acknowledging that the Institute has enormous task that needs consolidated efforts to make sure that learning goes on and every child is benefitting from the process.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has pointed out a new feature of digital learning. We need to embrace it for the sake of our children and together we will be able to grow,” said Dr. Ruto.

The Communication Authority of Kenya (CAK) directed all signal providers to carry the EDU TV Channel and that of KBC radio as MUST carry signals on their platforms. Now, you can be able to access EDU TV channel on DSTV platform among others on channel 316. Star Times digital provider is carrying interactive education content on their platform. Mr. Andy Wang, Star Times General Manger of East Africa as well as the Chief Executive Officer, Nairobi Branch said the partnership will bridge the gap in ensuring that learners missing out on some lessons on radio and EDU TV channels can use the Star times application known as ‘StarTimes{ON}’ to access the available content using the android phones. The application is downloadable from Google Play Store and stored on the phone. “I look forward to see how to build the institute’s capacity to avail online interactive learning content to all the children in Kenya,” Mr. Wang.

Star Times has a satellite link that can be used to make the digital interactive lessons to learners accessible and available when need be.

The KICD Acting Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Joel Mabonga welcomed the move and hinted on the available options to engage children who are learning at home. Use of mobile phones is available option since its penetration in Kenya is high.

“We need to go out of our ways to make sure that learning continues even under the current COVID-19 lockdown,” said Dr. Mabonga.

Safaricom Company has zero rated the education bundle for learners accessing digital content on the Kenya Education Cloud. Learners are now able to enjoy 100MB data bundle free to access the content on a daily basis. A learner needs just to deal *544# and follow the steps required to access the content.

Dr. Sara Ruto, in a reminder said one of the core competencies in the Competency Based Curriculum is learning to learn and this is an opportune moment to put it to practice.

‘’Learning to learn is one of our competencies and we look forward to learn with our partners for the better learning future of our children,” said Dr. Ruto.

 

 Parental Engagement and Empowerment

The Competency Based Curriculum (CBC) underscores the value of engaging parents in the learners’ educational journey. It has developed Guidelines on Parental Empowerment and Engagement available on the KICD website to guide parents.

“We appeal to parents to take up their responsibility and guide their children appropriately. It is the onus of parents to provide room for children to listen to the lessons on radio and watch them on Edu TV channel and other TV signal providers”, said Dr. Mabonga.

Parents are the foremost educator. They should be able to supervise. While at home, the learners are under the supervision of parents. Instead of other radio and TV channels, we have provided this channel for curriculum delivery.

The government is urging parents at this time, to be there for their children. They cannot surrender their parental responsibility to teachers who are now, not there due to the Corona virus pandemic. The virus has made the schools to be closed indefinitely, pending the situational outcome of its containment.

In fact, urban children are more disadvantaged because there are more distractions compared to what children from rural areas experience. Parents in urban regions have a duty to supervise their children and ensure they create time for the educational lessons and not being hooked up to destructive issues.

“The government is not the only source of educational experiences. Parents have a role to play. Let the children go to the farm or attend to household chores but also allow them to learn through the lessons. Even when school are open they have time for assignments,” Dr. Mabonga said.

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