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NEWS

Please, Add These 3 To The Education System

It should no longer be about books

BY Agnes Amondi

Jan 24, 2023, 09:24 PM

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As the world marks the International Day of Education, students across the country are still settling in for the new term. A lot has gone on as the school calendar reverts back to the usual January to December schedule. Just last week, KCSE candidates received their national examination results.

Additionally, we now have a new curriculum - the Competency Based Curriculum (CBC) - which might just be the silver bullet learners need but we will wait to find out. 

As that happens, those of us who graduated high school before the education system was changed will share in some of the things I’m about to note. 

The old system was hell-bent on books which didn’t offer most students a realistic path to life due to its black-and-white nature. It was either you passed or failed and have an academic career or you are considered a failure.

One of the biggest letdowns, and hopefully this will change with the new system is the lack of practical subjects that help all of us cope with life. Yes, we had a life skills lesson but it wasn’t taken as seriously as a Math class. Some teachers would sneak in during these lessons they deemed to be unimportant but actually turn out to be vital.

When you grow up and adjust to the real world, you encounter several things that leave you wondering about the gap in knowledge about the everyday essentials necessary for you to function in the world. 

To correct this, here are some things schools should start teaching to prepare current and future learners.

SexEd

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This is a conversation that is necessary for everyone but some entities have 
decided that sex education is not essential to young learners. Some people even campaigned against the move when the government dared introduced it in the national curriculum.

Part of the reason is the misunderstanding about what the kids will be taught. Some think they’ll be introduced to act and others argue that their brains aren’t developed enough to accommodate this kind of information.

Well, neither of the two is correct. SexEd is more than just a man and woman getting intimate. It encompasses so many things including learning your rights and things like consent. It involves the understanding and appreciation of one’s body among other things. Of course, all these things will be taught based on the student’s level. 

Money

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All of us think that we understand the ins and outs of money until we actually interact with it. When you receive your first paycheck and can’t compute what the deductions mean. 

When the taxman is asking that you remit a share of your income and getting around that is also another hassle. Budgeting and saving is another area that’s challenging. The popular opinion is that you should somehow just know how to do it but this is a learned skill. 

Psychology

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We are now big on mental health issues. Finally, there is a place for you to talk about the internal conflicts that you only know about. This trend should not fade out, and hopefully, it doesn’t, without it being incorporated into schools. And we are not talking about the individual counselling session you can individually get. Good that this existed but it’s time to have that as a unit itself like Math or Science.  

Questioning

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This a paradox as we live in a society that generally does not encourage questioning. Right from our homes, 
our parents don’t want questions asked about what they are saying. When we go to school, the same happens and even as we go up into the work life, aspects of this become evident. 

Seemingly, this does not bode well with most quarters but it is a keen tool to have. Questioning helps you to think, and analyze situations. Scepticism, a trait that’s often frowned upon is a great asset to have in a world that cherishes optimism.