Parents are now demanding more roles in shaping their children’s education under the new curriculum saying their role under the current 8-4-4 system is minimal.
Kenya National Parents Association chairman Nicholas Maiyo on Monday said the new curriculum set to be rolled out in two months should provide a clear role for parents.
Speaking during a two-day stakeholders workshop on ‘Parental empowerment and engagement, ‘ at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD), Mr Maiyo said parents’ role should not be reduced to just sending their children to school.
During the workshop, it emerged that parents have abdicated their roles to teachers, with some expressing disappointment whenever children stayed home for long, during holidays.
“Parents can do more than just sending their children to school and leaving the rest to teachers,” Mr Maiyo said.
Cyril Oyugi, the KICD Director-Research, Monitoring and Evaluation, said under the new guidelines, the role of bringing up a child will no longer be left only to teachers as has been the case.
“Parents will no longer look upon teachers to single-handedly watch over their children while at school and view them as a bother when they return home,” Mr Oyugi said.
Mr Oyugi said the 2-6-3-3 system of education focuses on bringing up children who are not only bright in class but have the right values to enable them become responsible citizens.
KICD Chief Executive Officer Dr Julius Jwan said the close collaboration among parents, learners and teachers being advanced by the proposed curriculum, guarantees quality education.
Dr Stanley Mukolwe, an expert in Parenting, who delivered the key note address on ‘Parenting in the 21st century,’ said parents and teachers must work together to develop students’ character and competence.
“A parent with one child fails to build his character and expects a teacher with an audience of 40 learners to do a miracle,” said Dr Mukolwe, who is the Director, Family Life Ministry Navigators Africa.
He explained that some children suffer from low esteem because their parents never appreciate what they do.
“Even if a child comes home with a 100 per cent, a parent still asks how many others had a similar mark. This affects the child,” Dr Mukolwe said.
He faulted some parents for relegating their parenting roles to house helps, including attending crucial school meetings, in the guise that they are busy.
“A child is spending two tired hours with a parent and 12 wakeful hours with the house helps. Ideally, they are the ones influencing the children’s behaviour,” Dr Mukolwe said.
The event that brought together parents, educationists, curriculum developers, religious groups, psychologists and Ministry of Education officials was organised to develop guidelines that will improve participation of parents in their children’s school lives.
Students are set to be at home for more than two months, for December holiday, after Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i announced that schools will close on October 24 to pave way for the repeat presidential election scheduled for Thursday. Schools will open on January 2.
Parents also fear that they will get financially overwhelmed by the youngsters’ needs.