Are Our Children Learning? The Status of Remote-learning among School-going Children in Kenya during the Covid-19 Crisis

Resource type
Report
Author/contributor
Title
Are Our Children Learning? The Status of Remote-learning among School-going Children in Kenya during the Covid-19 Crisis
Place
Nairobi, Kenya
Institution
Usawa Agenda
Date
2020
Notes

Highlights from the report.

p. 2

Key Facts About Children’s Digital Learning in Kenya – 2020

1 Access to digital learning is low and inequitable

  • On average, 22 out of 100 children are accessing digital learning.
  • The higher the grade the learner is in the higher the probability of accessing digital learning.
  • A child in a private school is twice more likely to be accessing digital learning compared to his/her counterpart in public school.

2 Parental awareness on children’s remote learning is disparate

  • 2 out 10 parents were not aware that their children should continue learning remotely from home.
  • Parental awareness varied from county to county – Mandera was at 18 percent while Mombasa was at 97 percent.

3 Most utilized platform of accessing digital learning isn’t the most accessible

  • 42 out of 100 digital learners accessed TV lessons.
  • 27 out of 100 digital learners accessed materials sent by schools through WhatsApp .
  • 10 out of 100 digital learners accessed digital KICD materials.

4 Public schools were least prepared to support digital learning

  • 9 out of 10 school heads officials interviewed estimated less than 30 percent of their schools to have any measures in place to reach children with learning materials.
  • 6 out of 10 school heads officials interviewed estimated less than 10 percent of their schools to have any measures in place to reach children with learning materials.
  • 6 out of 10 KEPSHA & KESSHA officials interviewed estimated less than 10 percent of their learners to be accessing digital learning.

p. 7

Suggestions on Way Forward

  1. The government should acknowledge the fact that there is no systematic remote learning going on and communicate that publicly. This is necessary to ease tension that is mounting among a majority of the children who can’t access digital learning. Continued claims that there is learning going on is building anxiety, especially among candidates, who feel that their “lucky” colleagues are leaving them behind. This poses a risk of possible disturbances when schools reopen as many will be afraid of being evaluated in the national examinations against better prepared counterparts;
  2. The Committee recently set up by the Ministry of Education (MOE) should urgently draw up several scenarios of school opening (June, July, August, etc.), provide equitable mechanisms to redeem lost time in each scenario and communicate the same publicly to calm the nerves of parents and learners;
  3. The Ministry of Education should review its strategy on the integration of ICT in education. The current one is either not working, or its implementation is fraught with myriad challenges that have rendered it ineffective;
  4. The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) in collaboration with MOE and other stakeholders should re-evaluate and reposition the teacher in delivering digital learning. So far digitization has been misconstrued as a replacement of the teacher. This crisis has just disconfirmed that notion. Repositioning the teacher should include capacity development, facilitation and incentivizing;
  5. The position of the parents in formal education delivery generally and in the ICT integration in particular needs to be reviewed and enhanced. But this review must also take into account the fact that our curriculum does not cover all learning that children need to prepare themselves for adulthood; and
  6. The government should constitute a multisectoral committee, and embark on a long term plan to systematically bridge the digital divide that is both geographic and socioeconomic, as part of the broader strategy to ensure equitable access to quality education and life-long learning opportunities aspiration of agenda2030.
Citation
Usawa Agenda. (2020). Are Our Children Learning? The Status of Remote-learning among School-going Children in Kenya during the Covid-19 Crisis. Usawa Agenda. https://palnetwork.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Usawa-Agenda-2020-Report.pdf