Nandi, Kenya, 21st August, 2015 – On Thursday 13th August 2015, the Global Peace Foundation through its signature program (Global Peace Education) in partnership with Chalan Foundation facilitates a session on the significance of integrating technology in education during the UasinGishu/Nandi County Education Stakeholders Life Skills Review Forum held at AIC Church Hall in Nandi Hills.
With support from the Ministry of Education Science and Technology (MoEST), in collaboration with Chalan Foundation the forum brought together education stakeholders from the Kenya Secondary School Association (KESSHA), Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT), Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) and the Local Administration to review the progress made in county governments towards achieving National Character Education Goals in terms of Life skills curriculum coverage and its impact in schools.
The curriculum was introduced to schools by the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) for purposes of instilling good character and positive behavior among secondary school youth. This has not been easy without thresholds. Teachers have been putting more concentration on examinable subjects to enable the students perform well. This is because the program does not have a monitoring and evaluation criteria, which makes it difficult to measure its impact on the students. The Life Skills Program focuses on essential life skills components that include: national values, sex education, environment conservation, honesty, respect, relationships, among others. This is crucial in modeling moral leaders from school graduates and also enhances social development of our country.
“God has a higher expectation of teachers as molders of the society,” said Mrs. Koske, Patron Chalan Foundation during her opening remarks. “Lack of information, poor self – esteem and lack of purpose all lead to increased student drop-out rates in our schools. These cannot be addressed during regular classroom sessions, but through life skills programs in schools which have proven to help reduce dropout rates.”
The Chalan Foundation has established the life skills program in 40 schools in Uasin Ngishu and Nandi Counties with the objective of ensuring that the skills are taught and practiced in schools by both teachers as role models and students as beneficiaries. The organization has been working with Global Peace Foundation which has established the Character and Creativity Initiative (CCI) across 41 schools in 10 Counties in Kenya with a goal to ensure that secondary school youth graduate with 21st Century employ-ability skills and ability to succeed in Life and work beyond the school.
“Life skills teaching can transform a school in terms of character and creativity. Students who can define their values and understand their behavior are more likely to succeed in academics and try out different extra curriculum activities in the school. The challenge remains with the fact that Life skills is not examinable,” said Mr. PartrickShiribwa, principal Sarwat Secondary School.
In the group break out session facilitated by Ms. Caroline Amollo, Director, Globalpeace Education, the teachers arranged themselves in groups to discuss some of the challenges in their schools and recommendations to address the issues. They discussed their roles and the experience they have gained in education.
hey also gave feedback and recommended that: the Ministry of Education and KICD should make the subjects more practical to real life and capacities building for both principals and teachers in modern technology from public – private partnerships to enable the teachers give relevant training to the issues in the society today.
The teachers highlighted that modern technology was continuously widening the communication gap between parents and their children, teachers and their students and impacting relationships negatively. They also mentioned that poverty especially in rural areas played a major role in diminishing the importance of moral values in the schools and society.
“The problem is not with our curriculum but with how it is being implemented. Teachers are drilling learners and encouraging rote learning. There is enough time for character and creativity formation through life skills and other similar programs,” stated Dr. Nthamburi, Deputy Director KICD, during his keynote speech which took into account the feedback from the group break out session.“Without caring for the moral values of our learners, the nation has no future,” he concluded.