The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) has rolled out a new programme to mitigate against under-staffing in schools. The ambitious programme dubbed ‘Virtual Lessons For Schools’ will largely benefit schools in remote areas. The Commission says it has trained over 163,000 tutors to roll out virtual lessons that would be scaled up to cover most schools.
The new programme will see teachers from well-staffed schools with better facilities virtually share their classes with other institutions.
TSC Chief Executive Nancy Macharia said the prolonged disruption of learning due to the Covid-19 pandemic brought to the fore the need to continuously empower teachers to respond to emerging trends and challenges. During Covid 19, most schools were unable to access online lessons due to inadequate facilities and poor internet connectivity.
Macharia said the commission has now accelerated its online teaching and learning, citing the Secondary Education Quality Improvement Project that has already been launched.
The programme will be piloted ahead of full roll-out.
Under the pilot programme targeting 12 schools, mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology and English will be live streamed from the host schools.
During the two-month pilot phase, livestreaming will focus on sciences, mathematics and English lessons, delivered from two principal schools.
Alliance Girls High School and Machakos Boys, well-staffed institutions with better facilities, will have their teachers share lessons with students in satellite schools across 10 counties.
The two national schools have been paired with the satellite schools drawn from Isiolo, Kilifi, Bomet, Taita Taveta, Makueni and Kisii.
Macharia said the lessons will be interactive and collaborative through video and sound and learners will have a whole learning experience.
The programme targets Form Two students. Kenya Secondary School Heads Association chairman Kahi Indimuli termed the project a game changer. “It provides an opportunity to share knowledge, equipment and apparatus. It is a shared opportunity in learning and teaching approaches,” said Indimuli.
He, however, said schools will require high speed internet connectivity. But even as TSC launched the online lessons programme, teachers unions maintained quality teaching also requires proper staffing.
“Counties are not the same. Schools are not the same. We have gaps. Technology cannot replace teachers,” said Knut boss Collins Oyuu.
TSC had indicated there exists a teacher deficit of about 100,000 countrywide.
This new plan will however be hampered by lack of enough ICT facilities and internet connectivity in most schools.