Schools are yet to open

The reopening of schools for the second term was pushed up to 4th of June. That is one month after the expected reopening date, May 1, 2020.  Now this will be a total of seven weeks lost, adding up with the number of weeks that were cut off from the first term. Even though it said that 4th of June schools may reopen, it all depends on the status of the covid-19 containment. It is therefore very uncertain that that schools will reopen in the month of June.

In a scenario that schools will reopen in June, then teachers will have quite a lot of work to catch up on the syllabus coverage. Key in the race against time will be this year’s candidates’ class. Teachers will have to be creative enough to come up with efficient way of covering much ground in syllabus completion, and adequate revision. It will also be very important that all the candidates cooperate with their teachers. In this case, it will be possible to have exams on the scheduled dates.

Now, if it turns out that June is also a mirage, then it will be impossible to have the exams as scheduled. The ministry of education with the Kenya National Exams Council will have to reschedule the exams appropriately.

It is with reason that we want to rollout e-learning amongst out student community. There could a number of challenges with this particular group. This group implies the whole school community, owing to our catchment area. This is from the slum communities of Nairobi Eastland. The main two things are, ICT gadgets and internet access. Some have limited types of gadgets, and some may not be having the gadgets completely. Very few have perfect working gadgets that can be used for e-learning, as well as have sufficient access to internet.

We however will roll it out hoping and praying that many as possible will come on board. We plan to use learning management system (LMS) to teach the students remotely. This will be better than using social media platform which has quite some disadvantages. Since they were not created for learning purposes, they tend to be offbeat in terms of propagating education. WhatsApp has been widely used. This is because;

  • It is popular
  • It is cheap to use, as some of the internet service providers have created plans that enable people to access it even when they have run out of data bundles,  

If it is bent to work as an LMS, it then has these downsides;

  • It is very crowded
  • It can not upload large video and audio files  
  • It is open to abuse especially by students
  • Teachers have very little to do to control learning

This then makes it better for institutions to look for actual LMS. There are very many learning management systems globally. Most are usually very expensive because of what goes into building them. But thanks to giant ICT company google for creating Google Suit for Education, which is free for many qualifying institutions. Within this suit, we have Google Classroom which is a great solution to our challenge – LMS. We then choose to learn it and use it for our e-learning purpose.

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