NEWSPAPER OPINION PIECES THEMES

THEMES

1 Parental role of supporting CBC in the context of COVID 19. The role of parents has been catalyzed and transformed by COVID 19. Opinion pieces may focus on parental education needs, authority, required support systems to support learning process parent teacher collaboration etc.

Early Years education (EYE) (ECE; also nursery education) is a branch of education that relates to the teaching of children (formally and informally) . It is as an important period in a child's development. Opinion pieces to highlight on types of caregiving of this group of learners in the advent of COVID 19 and CBC demands, what parents need to know to support the holistic development of the child’s personality while away from school..

TRANSITION ACROSS LEVELS

Transition at different levels has been disrupted, what are the different scenarios that should be expected after COVID 19? What are the implication for schooling? Will there be an influx at any of the levels? Who will be in Form 1 in 2021, for example? Who will join university in 2021? Implications of a gap year created by COVID 19 on the whole education system from curriculum development, curriculum implementation, curriculum assessment etc.

2. Resources (Physical and Human): This theme intends to attract pieces that may address a specific or a combination of resources to include mitigation of resultant challenges of CBC implementation process brought on by COVID 19. Readiness of resource availability for reopening of schooling. Planning for resources that should be considered to support safe - return to school.   Mobilization strategies for essential resources, financing, use of existing community resource centers such as TAC- centers, community libraries, how to manage the teacher/ student ratio viz a viz class smaller class sizes now enhanced by COVID 19. What alternative resources exist and how CBC roll out process make use of them?

3. Reopening of schools CBC and COVID 19. A possible spread out of opening of school is likely to occur, opinion on the most strategic process that focuses on learning process or examination completion is a good starting point. What are the tradeoffs for giving examination classes priority over the EYE for the return to school calendar? Which is the most deserving group and why? Who needs to quickly return to class? What is the implication for CBC rollout? What precautions should be considered to avoid losing the gains already made with CBC rollout? How can the CBC implementation process be sustained?

4. University reopening and CBC rollout program. University programs have been most affected by COVID 19. What should university be focusing on to enable resumption or continuation of studies? What shared good practices exist and how can these be contextualized for Kenyan Universities. What lessons have been learned and how can these be replicated in other universities or strengthened? What are the implications for preparing students who will be managing CBC classes previously slotted for 2023? How can the university prepare for the gap created? What type of timelines should the universities be working with with respect to CBC? How can the university respond to remain supportive of the CBC rollout

4. Special Needs learners. The impact of COVID 19 on special needs learners. Special needs learners experience social and physical limitations. What services are available to support special needs learners while out of school and on resumption of studies? COVID 19 is known to be more aggressive when the victim has underlying conditions that are common with special needs learners. Are there new resources required in these institutions? How prepared are the caregivers and teachers to facilitate this new demand of how to mitigate and embrace the new normal WRT social distancing and special needs learners?

5. CBC Curriculum and COVID 19: CBC was introduced to respond to societal needs but in the present situation of COVID 19 pandemic, societal needs are changing. To remain relevant, is there need to analyse the content and context of CBC so as to respond to the new normal being created by COVID 19? How can the implementation process be strengthened? Is there need to reflect with a fresh look on policies that govern CBC? Can the curriculum be analysed to determine the possibility of including or excluding content to reflect and respond to the new normal? What content should be encouraged to be done while out of school for the CBC group? How can continuity be sustained especially for the pioneering classes now at Grade 4 (2020)? Can the ongoing process work amid the new environment or is a halt necessary?

6. Gender, CBC and COVID 19 Effects. How has COVID 19 impacted the schooling the child at home in-terms of gender aspects? What gender related challenges face these children (pregnancy, truancy, tribal wars, helplessness, stigmatization, child labour, abuse) and other rights of the child? What can be done to minimize expected damage?

7. Teacher Readiness. Teachers will play a very important role when schools reopen. They will be in the frontline of prevention and management of the aftermath of COVID 19. There is need to start a discussion on how teachers are being prepared for school reopening amid COVID 19. How can teacher managers (TSC, School directors) make use of teachers during this COVID 19 pandemic? What could be the psychological status of teachers and how ready are they in the management of COVID 19 prone learners or those who will be reporting from COVID 19 red zones. How will the schools manage stigmatization when they are part of the population exposed? How ready are teachers’ assessment skills that can help them identify a child in need of support and provide first aid or nursing help (PSYC assess). What skills do teachers need to respond appropriately to the COVID aftermath? How can teachers be prepared through TPD to become better learners in the context of lifelong learners as they will need to access new content to remain relevant and useful to the community?

8. Alternative Schooling and CBC:   As a response to COVID 19 experience, are there other modes of schooling that can be considered to respond to the new normal? What is the place for blended learning, flipped schooling, de-schooling, media (TV, Radio) schooling, home schooling etc? What support systems are required to manage alternative schooling so no child is left behind? What are the strengths and weakness and opportunities for these alternatives? Is there need for policies for these desirable alternatives?

9. Assessment Process and COVID 19: The strength and success of CBC will be anchored in the transformation of the mode of assessment. Assessment has a direct effect on teachers’ pedagogical orientation. Are there assessment modes that can be addressed by CBC implementation process to strengthen suggested modes? What other novel assessment modes are available or tried? How can learning be assessed outside the classroom? Because of COVID 19, student sitting their examination this year 2020 are experiencing anxiety that is linked to psychological trauma that may impact their results negatively. Students who require close monitoring (usually paid for by guardians) are likely to lose that opportunity due to distancing, There is need for opinion about structural adjustments that the assessment body should put in place to respond to this anxiety for both guardians and candidates. Interpretation of student results have implications for next level of education process, what type of scenarios should be introduced to mitigate this process? Is it time to introduce entrance examinations especially to tertiary level institutions? Is there a role for the aptitude test to support summative certificate assessment grades? Is DISTANCING GOOD FOR LEARNERS?

10. ICT and Education. To make use of ICT, the ministry of Education among other sectors in the country has rolled out some form of media schooling! (An evaluation opinion on this) What opinion can be shared with respect to the quality control strategies that are being used or those that need to be put in place? What lessons can we learn from the ongoing media learning in terms of content and delivery process? Use of Media has found its place in the schooling system due to COVID 19 pandemic. How can this be sustained to move the e-learning towards interactive student centeredness approach that can be worth learners’ time? What lessons have been learned and how can this be applied or improved?

11. Psychological impact on learners resulting from COVID 19 experience. What are the psychological scenarios that can be expected of learners, teachers, school administrators, students and other stakeholders? What post- COVID 19 containment behaviors are expected and how can they be managed? Is stigmatization going to be a possible concern? Is there a place for guidance and counselling in the post COVID 19 containment?

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