WHAT CONSTITUTES AN ‘IDEAL SCHOOL’

 

A few weeks ago I was having a meeting with Mr. William Kemei regarding the schools’ systems and the Competency Based Curriculum and he posed a question; “What do you think is the ideal institution of learning?” This question challenged us. As we transition into the competency based curriculum, do we understand the real impact we are seeking to achieve upon each individual child in this country through the adoption of the new system?

As we speak, this month, 30 marginalized counties in the country have an allocation of 1.5 billion in this 2019/2020 financial year. Under the secondary education quality improvement project, the goal is the institutions improve their facilities and infrastructure.  Overall, the World Bank has provided 6B to support improvement of infrastructure in selected public secondary and primary schools.

Which facilities are we seeking to improve and how can we model the primary and secondary schools in the country to fit an ‘ideal.’ First is investment in the human capital. Institutions all across the country need to have adequate teachers. The 2-6-6-3 competency programme requires that the teacher to student ratio at the pre-primary level be 1 to 26 students, primary level, 1 to 56 students and the secondary level, 1 to 41 students. These ratios’ guided by the ideal, should therefore inform the ministry even in its allocation of teaching personnel in the different counties. Statistics of the different institutions should inform the remuneration and capital allocation to the different schools.

The second resources that should be availed is learning materials such as books and stationery. There is introduction of new subjects such as environmental activities, psychomotor and creative activities for pre-primary classes or literacy, hygiene and nutrition studies for the grade one to three. It is important that the necessary resources are spread out equitably across the country. Let all the teachers be well equipped to handle the subjects. With the overall goal to allow students to specialize dependent on their ability, interest and personality, we cannot afford to have the to start on a wrong footing. Therefore, the rollout should be deliberate to avail relevant resources to all schools in the country.

Finally, the ideal school should allow the administrators a leeway to make decisions that concern the institutions. There are several bottlenecks that limit operations dependent on approvals to be made. The government through the ministry should allow for flexibility. This is a new process for every stakeholder and it is critical that arising issues are promptly addressed to ensure effectiveness. Let every partner play their part for the ultimate good of the Kenyan child with regards to adaptation of the new curriculum.

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