Why schools are reopening earlier for Grade Four pupils - Beaking Kenya News

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Wednesday, 7 October 2020

Why schools are reopening earlier for Grade Four pupils


Parents, students and the public have questioned why Grade Four pupils should go back to school while other older pupils, who are capable of adhering to Health Ministry guidelines, stay at home.

In a shocking move that caught parents and candidates off guard, Education CS George Magoha on Monday directed all KCPE and KCSE candidates to report back to school next week.

Also to return to school will be pupils in Grade Four, the pioneer class of the new education curriculum that was rolled out by the government in 2018.

The CS defended the move, saying it was in line with President Uhuru Kenyatta's directive and followed broad-based education stakeholders consultations.

This move did not sit well with parents including some politicians as well.

Elgeyo Market Senator Kipchumba Murkomen was the first to register his displeasure saying that the directive was outrageous.

“I have a child in class 6 and another in Grade Four. What’s the logic of taking the Grade Four chap to school on Monday while the older one is at home?” he posed.

“Didn’t the President say we shall first establish “how” and together agree “when”? When did the together meeting take place? Did I miss a memo?”

But Murkomen is just one of the many Kenyans questioning why the young pupils are going to school this year.

In the phased reopening for Grade Four, Class 8 and Form Four learners, six other classes in primary school, as well as three in secondary, will have to wait a bit longer before knowing when they will resume face-to-face learning.

But why do Grade Four pupils have to go to back to school?

Grade Four pupils are set to go back to school because, under the new competency-based curriculum, it is the top class in this category just like standard 8 is top of the 8-4-4 system in primary and Form Four is top of the tier in secondary school.

And as per the curriculum, Grade Four is the senior-most class under CBC and the candidates are the ones to go to school.

Although thousands of teachers have been trained on the CBC, there are fears that a majority are not well equipped to take up the pupils transitioning to this new grade.

Grade Four involves eight lessons every day that are 45 minutes long.

These students are expected to graduate to junior secondary once they are done with Grade Four exams.

PS Belio Kipsang said last year that the dynamics of teaching Grade Four is completely different from Grades 1,2, and 3.

This grade involves more than one teacher and has a lot of technicalities that need keen observation.

The subjects will be distributed into 40 lessons a week with the frequently taught subject having five lessons and the less frequent being taught once a week.

Normally, teachers in upper primary teach two to three subjects per class.

With only two teachers trained in upper primary, the workload is going to be heavier.

In April 2018, 91,320 teachers were trained countrywide to handle grades one to three. Another 68,490 were trained in August 2019 for the CBC.

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