Learner Motivation And Parental Guidance Key To Success Of Remote Learning

KICD is delivering content through radio, TV, YouTube and the Kenya education cloud.
Kennedy Buhere

The Kenya government suspended learning in educational institutions as part of the strategy to contain the global Covid-19 pandemic.  The overriding concern of the government was health and safety of Kenyans, including children who are as susceptible to the disease as everyone else.

From March 23, 2020, the Ministry of Education enhanced curriculum delivery, which the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) has been offering for many years to support the schools teaching and learning. KICD is delivering content through radio, TV, YouTube and the Kenya education cloud.

The ministry decided to load the content on multiple formats knowing that Kenyans have different communication preferences based on education, location and socioeconomic status. The radio is one of the platforms KICD hundreds of households are able to access one or two of these platforms.

“Nearly all Kenya’s adult population has access to radio (98 per cent) and a mobile phone (97 per cent). Access to TV is also high (81 per cent) and over half the adult population have access to the internet (51per cent),” according to Kenya – Media Landscape Report November 2018, a report commissioned by.

Report Commissioned By BBC Media Action

The Report, commissioned by BBC Media Action observed that access to radio is very high with 95 per cent of rural and 94 per cent of urban respondents having access to a radio in the home.

The question of connectivity or accessibility to digital and broadcast content should not arise. Parents and guardians with their children are free to choose a medium of instruction that they can easily access. Children can follow with understanding instruction on any of the platform.

The principle is that availability of power, internet connectivity and also gadgets and financial resources for airtime in themselves, don’t necessarily guarantee success of remote or virtual learning.

Certain Fundamentals Of Education Must Be Present

First, attendance of the learners to the virtual lessons depends on student motivation to learn. Learner motivation is critical to meaningful learning in the traditional classroom. Nay, it is more critical in remote or virtual learning.

High-quality instruction and presence of the all equipment associated with virtual learning requires without the personal drive of the student is an exercise in futility.

Next to learner motivation is measure of parental responsibility. The parent is the number one educator of the child.  They are also the most influential in the education of children as everything they say or do has enormous impression on them.

The question as to whether children are attending to remote teaching and learning largely depends on their measures of children’s motivation and parental guidance. Remote learning is structured learning. It requires aligning of household chores to the timetable. Parents in provide and impose structure and disciplines their children attend virtual classes.  They are the ones in charge of what their children do or don’t don while at home.

We have another learning platform that is perhaps very critical to facilitating learning in its own right and also together with the digital or broadcast learning. And these are textbooks. Public primary and secondary system now enjoys a 1:1 textbook to pupil ration. Each of the learners in public primary and secondary schools went home with textbooks in each of the subjects they are studying.

“Students spend from 70 per cent to 95 per cent of their classroom time using textbooks, and teachers base more than 70 per cent of their instructional decisions on them,” according to two American Professors of Education, Myra Pollack Sadker and David Miller Sadker in their book, Teachers, Schools and Society.

Leaners Should Be Able To Use The Textbooks

Leaners should be able to use the textbooks they have—courtesy of the 1:1 Book ratio—to study without any problem. The organisation of the learning experiences or content is graduated or tiered.

School curriculum in national education systems the world over is based on the idea of the Spiral Curriculum. The idea is predicated on American psychologist, Jerome Bruner theory that the foundations of any subject can be taught effectively in some intellectually honest form to any child at any stage of development.

The curriculum is accordingly designed in such a way that students see the same topics throughout their school career, with each encounter increasing in complexity and reinforcing previous learning.

This Curriculum Design Makes Learning Incremental

This curriculum design makes learning incremental. What children learned earlier provides the brick and mortar to learn the next idea, concept, or topic in progressively increasing depth, breadth and complexity.

The 15 million primary and secondary school had acquired a body of knowledge, skills, attitudes and values—relative to their grades just before the schools closed. Their minds were not tabula rasa, or empty of knowledge, skills and attitudes pertaining to the curriculum or syllabus. This body of knowledge should provide the foundations to continue learning or studying newer topics or concepts subsequent to the topics they had been taught just before schools closed.

That Is How Education Works

That is how education works. The essence of education is that learners should be able to get skills which they can use to adapt to different situations. These are unusual moments for learners. They are learning from home, far from the physical presence, interaction and guidance of their teachers.

The person physically available around him to provide discipline is the parent or guardian. He or she must play his part in the education of his child during this period and after.

Kennedy Buhere is Communications Officer, Ministry of Education, Kenya


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