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Teachers and parents challenged to impart life values to learners

Education stakeholders drawn from Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda have expressed concerns over the lack of life skills and values among school-going children.

A study that was sponsored by eight non-governmental organizations under an umbrella body dubbed Action for Life Skills and Values on East Africa (ALIVE) in 2022, revealed only less than 10 percent of learners aged about 15 years accumulate life skills competencies at the right time.

In a press conference at a Murang’a hotel, representatives of the eight organizations said that despite the government’s efforts to implement the competency-based curriculum (CBC), many players from parents to teachers are still fixated on the old systems thus not in a position to instill life skills and values among the learners.

Executive Director of Zizi Afrique Foundation John Mugo averred CBC is better placed to instill life skills and value among young learners if the curriculum is properly implemented.

He noted failure to bring parents on board in the implementation of CBC has partly impacted negatively on the training of learners on values and life skills.

“From our research, we established parents lack the competencies needed to support their children but also teachers since the retooling methodology has not been effective, the curriculum resources are not well developed to support them, and others are not ready to change,” observed Mugo.

He underscored the need for continuous retooling of teachers and support to parents to realize the vision of CBC of producing empowered, engaged, and ethical citizens.

“Values are learned at home and when children are much younger. The school just reinforces the values that children have acquired from their parents, older siblings, and the environment they are growing in.

“The assessment of the value of respect done in 2022 indicated that more than 8 out of 10 children cannot demonstrate respect at the highest level,” he added.

Mugo further called upon the government to start preparing early enough for implementation of senior secondary schools saying the challenges which have been witnessed with junior secondary schools need to be avoided.

“This is the time to have infrastructure and other needed materials and personnel for senior secondary schools in place. The level of education is expected to start in 2026 and from our observation, there is nothing to show in readiness to have senior secondary schools,” stated Mugo.

Dr. Mary Goretti, the Executive Director of Uwezo Uganda claimed the challenge of lack of life values among learners cuts across the entire East Africa region.

She said in her country, Uganda, more than 60 percent of school-going children lack the values and life skills that are needed to guide their lives and make them responsible people.

“As we aspire our children to acquire technical and academic skills, there is a need to impact them with life values and skills to ensure they are responsible people. The CBC being implemented in Kenya is also similar to the Ugandan curriculum and we call upon governments of the three countries to channel resources to effect reforms touching on teaching of life skills and values in our schools,” she noted.

By Bernard Munyao

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