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Do not rush over the syllabus just for the sake of it, teachers warned

The  Centre for Mathematics, Science and Technology in Africa (CEMASTEA) Director, Stephen Njoroge has advised teachers in Primary and secondary schools against rushing to cover syllabus.

Njoroge said hasty syllabus coverage did not allow students to understand the concepts in a subject which is the goal of effective teaching and learning.

“Let us not rush to cover the syllabus. Teachers should ensure students understand the concepts taught,” Mr. Njoroge said, adding that focus of the teachers should be how well students have understood what has been taught.

The  Director made the remarks in an interview at the CEMASTEA offices in Nairobi over  the weekend.

He said school managements should abide by the time frame the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) provides for syllabus coverage and completion.

He said teachers would deliver the curriculum using strategies that encouraged the development of critical thinking and other high order thinking skills quality education requires.

Njoroge said students could understand subjects such as mathematics and science if properly taught, adding the delivery of mathematics and science syllabus in the classroom is the greatest problem facing mathematics and science education in Africa.

“Maths  and  Science subjects are not hard. It is the method of delivery that makes it hard,” Njoroge said.

He   said  CEMASTEA  was addressing the challenge by providing training programmes to Mathematics and Science Teachers so they improve their pedagogical skills to teach the subjects.

Njoroge said school administrations should also avoid administering far too many assessments or tests to learners.

He said the goal of assessments should be to assess the effectiveness of teaching and learning, and address the weakness tests reveal.

The Director   regretted that assessments at short intervals demotivated learners particularly if they were performing poorly  in the tests.

He  said  assessments where learners repeatedly failed reinforced failure in the students rather than helping them to improve.

“A child who get zero in tests comes to see later tests as confirming that he is not good enough,” Njoroge said.

He  said  schools managements should create physical and psycho social environment that is friendly to learning.

The  Director  noted that environment that is friendly to learners motivated them to learn while unfriendly one negatively affected learning.

By  Alice  Gworo

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