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Community-Based Learning CBL Suffers Another Blow

The ministries of Education and Health, together with the Teachers Service Commission (TSC), intended to start the community-based learning CBL program as a way of engaging learners during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Intending to equip learners with practical skills and basic knowledge related to coronavirus, the ministries of Education and Health joined hands with the Teachers Service Commission (TSC).

The three parties sought a way to engage learners during this period of the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, Mr. Aura challenged the CBL plan, saying Kenyans were not consulted.

The ministries, according to him, “exhibited reckless indifference” to the possibility of causing pain and suffering on the learners.

“There is an escalation of teenage pregnancies, exposure to online pornography and delinquency since children lack parental care during the daytime,” argued the petitioner.

CS Magoha and Kagwe Opposed Aura’s CBL Petition

Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha and his Health counterpart Mutahi Kagwe opposed the petition.

They argued that the reopening of schools without a clear roadmap would contradict the Covid-19 precautionary principle and containment measures.

“Reopening the schools will undermine the measures,” the two ministers said, adding that the matter of reopening the economy and public institutions as demanded by Mr. Aura had been sufficiently addressed by the court in a petition filed by the Law Society of Kenya.

As such, the court held that restrictions on movement and gatherings are reasonable and justified in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

Mr. Aura, however, recommended in-person instead of virtual learning and urged the court to push for the reopening of schools, which the CS refuted saying the right to life and the right to education had to be balanced.

“Reopening schools is not an event. It requires planning, resources, and development of protocols to protect learners and their minders, parents, guardians, and the community,” they said.

To ensure continuity of lessons during the Covid-19 period, the government instituted remote learning interventions, they added.

“These include the provision of lessons and digital content through radio, Zoom, television, webinars, and Kenya Education Cloud. The respondents also rolled out the community-based learning,” reads the response.

The two said the government is working to ensure schools reopen to a safe learning environment

They said the Covid-19 Education Response Committee formulated Guidelines on Health and Safety Protocols for Reopening of Basic Education Institutions Amid Covid-19 in July.

The guidelines encourage social distancing – detailing the requirement for more classrooms, boarding facilities, library space, ablution, kitchens, safety and security, transport, institutional grounds, dispensaries, and community relations protocols.

The guidelines call for measures dealing with the availability of water, respiratory etiquette, hand hygiene, food handlers, dish and cutlery cleaning, waste management, temperature monitoring, and self-screening mechanisms.

The case on CBL learning will be mentioned on October 6.

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