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Its immoral! Senior Ministry of Education official brands holiday homework as foolish

Kennedy Buhere, a senior Communications Officer at the Ministry of Education, on May 1, 2023, branded the issuing of holiday homework to students by teachers as foolish. In his statements, he also disagreed with issuing of project based tasks to students who ideally should be resting and relaxing.

“Holiday assignments are the most foolish thing I have ever encountered in recent years of schooling. They are mindless. They blight enjoyment of school holidays by children. Holiday is meant for rest or relaxation. Holiday assignments, like holiday tuition, has zero educational value. Schooling and education must be separated. Let children also learn from home. Extending schooling to the homes assume that there is no education  outside the prescribed curriculum. This is a fallacy of criminal proportions, if not immoral. Holiday assignments interfere with the learning of indigenous knowledge, extremely critical to the growth and development of children. This is a fatal error current generation of teachers perpetrate. They make schooling distasteful to children…Take this to the Bank,” began Mr Buhere.

When asked about project based tasks which could be considered enjoyable, Mr Buhere said he did not subscribe to the issuing of such assignments either.

“It’s assumed home is barren of things. Things of education value. Not necessarily related to the prescribed curriculum. Maybe for urbanized children who have nothing to do but mindlessly watch TV or fiddle with cell phones. Children in rural areas have projects. Taking care of young siblings, look after livestock, till land or simply to play. Give them story books to read and they report back. When a wife goes to her maiden home, the husband doesn’t give her tasks to accomplish while there. Micromanagement at the workplace or children away from school is bad educational practice. If you ask me,” said Mr Buhere.

The Competency Based Curriculum was introduced in Kenya in December 2017 under the 2-6-3-3 system, away from the former 8-4-4 system that saw a student spend 8 years in primary school, four years in secondary school and four years at the university. The CBC curriculum elicited mixed feelings among stakeholders who claimed the process was rushed without any consultations and that CBC greatly favored students in urban centers and from well-off families unlike those in low-income households.

Currently, students are home on holiday for the second and final week before schools resume from May 8, 2023, for the second term after the academic calendar returned to normal having been interfered with during the covid-19 pandemic. Despite tuition and extra-curriculur studies being banned, some parents and schools have been found to seek private tutors over holidays or offering holiday tuition in schools. If impossible, schools are known to give holiday homework to keep children busy as a measure to keep them from engaging in naughty activities.

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