The Kenya Primary Education Development (PRIEDE) project funded by the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) to the tune of Sh8 billion in line with the Competence Based Curriculum (CBC), has recorded huge gains in the sector.
Deputy Director of Education, Sebestian Owanga, said the project, which has run for the past five years, involved training teachers on effective Early Grade Mathematics (EGM) teaching methodologies, training Head teachers and Board of Management (BOM) chairpersons for prudent financial management as well as provision of EGM textbooks to 6 million grade one and two pupils.
Owanga, who spoke while on the assessment as well as closing mission of the project in Kakamega County through class observation sessions, said the mathematics teachers can now ensure that they actively engage, infuse ethics and empower learners during lessons.
“The project has also ensured adequate supply of text books and the learner to book ratio is one to one,” she said.
The Director stated that the newly adopted teaching methodologies employ the Competence Based Assessment (CBA), which is learner-friendly, where they were described as either Meeting Expectation (M.E), Approaching Expectation (A.E) or Below Expectation (B.E).
“The CBA tool has discarded the use of derogatory words such as poor or weak that would lower the self-esteem of pupils with low competence,” he observed.
Owanga added that the teachers have shifted from the pedagogy that emphasizes quantity to that of quality, where learners are now engaged during the lesson, taught morals and at the end of the lesson they are all empowered based on their varied abilities.
“I urge all the head teachers to ensure that all the pupils are registered in the National Educational Management Information System (NEMIS) as capitation disbursement will be based on this information,” he said.
At the same time, the Director of Teacher Education (DTE), Margaret Mwandale, said they are encouraging collaborative teaching and learning where two teachers handle a lesson together and the learners are paired up.
She stated that at first, they trained selected teachers in counties, but through the School Based Teacher Support (SBTS) initiative, the trained ones have taught the others.
“Our mission is to look at school enrollment, staffing, performance trend, financial management, and community involvement in school activities,” she maintained.
Mwandale stated that parents and the community are key stakeholders in the implementation of CBC and therefore, they should be part and parcel of the school management.
The DTE observed that the introduction of the Teacher Performance Appraisal and Development (TPAD) tool has boosted teacher performance by reducing incidents of absenteeism, adding that as PRIEDE project closes, the next target is the teacher training colleges, where they intend to ensure that the trainees are taught CBC-inclined pedagogical skills.
The other members of the delegation included Elizabeth Owiti from Elimu Coalition (EC) and Kananu Murungi from the directorate of Special Needs Education (SNE), who expressed the same view that the CBC programme will go a long way into molding all round learners, by instilling ethical values and equipping them with the desired competencies.
By Michael Omondi