The move by the government of Kenya to cancel the 2020 academic calendar has left many students in limbo, with those expected to sit for their national examination this year, being the most affected.
The Ministry of Education's announcement left many learners heartbroken after spending close to four months at home, following the confirmation of the first COVID-19 positive case in Kenya early this year. Learners from most private schools were lucky enough to conduct online classes, with those from public schools and marginalized areas were left to study independently.
Buckner Kenya has encouraged its learners to embrace out-of-class activities, initially regarded as unsupervised activities without specific learning objectives, that prepare them for
real-life challenges such as time- management, independent learning, and self-efficacy. The learners can practice farming, cooking, and crocheting, during their free time, to prevent them from indulging in behaviours that will destroy their lives.
" We encourage all learners to shift their schedule to deal with the new situation, especially now that learning in all primary and secondary schools will resume next year. The learners should be open to acquiring new skills, which can help boost the country's economy," said Ken, a teacher at Seed of Hope Academy in Kitale.
However, Buckner Kenya continues to empower its learners during this pandemic by offering online classes and assignments, through digital learning platforms and social media sites such as whatsapp and text messages. The move has seen more than 2000 pupils from all Buckner Kenya run schools interact freely with their teachers, despite the distance.
" We conduct online classes and offer our learners assignments to prepare them for national examination, even though the government has cancelled this year's academic calendar.
The students also interact freely with their teachers and use the platform to ask questions and submit assignments," said Alex, a teacher at Baptist Preparatory school in Nairobi.
Teachers conduct classes in examined subjects such as; Mathematics, English Grammar, English Composition, Kiswahili Lugha, Kiswahili Insha, Science, Social studies, and Religious Education. (Christian/Islamic/Hindu).
An idle mind, as they say, is the devil's workshop. Learners can practice several educational activities at home, with the help of their parents, friends, or siblings.
Ways in which children can learn while at home include;
1. Generating a workable study timetable
Learners can create a one or two-hour daily study timetable that can guide them as they study independently. The schedule should include all subjects and topics that they intend to cover. A question a day keeps them on toes.
2. Practicing science experiments at home.
Several topics covered in the science subject have experiments that can efficiently be conducted at home. Some of the most straightforward tests highlighted in the question include germination, types of plants, and parts of a flower.
3. Practicing writing.
Learning can get creative by writing short stories on different experiences, both good or bad. The stories can be based on topics as simple as; Myself, My worst day, my pet or even,
my family. Writing helps sharpen their skills and gives them ideas on exciting topics that can be written.
Above all, parents should educate their children on COVID-19 prevention measures.
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