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NDEMO: Why teachers fear new curriculum

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Why teachers fear new curriculum

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The departure from traditional approaches to teaching is the source of the anticipated conflict between Knut and ministry. 

New Education Cabinet Secretary, Prof George Albert Omore Magoha, will soon realise that some teachers are up to no good. Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) officials want him to abandon the new Competence Based Curriculum (CBC) developed by the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD).

They sense danger in the no nonsense surgeon whose tenure at the Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC) brought to the fore the level of incompetence in the teaching profession as exposed through mass failures in national examinations.

A CBC is an approach to teaching systems, assessment, grading and reporting that are based on learners demonstrating the knowledge and skills ability in the unit of learning before moving on to another unit. It is different from the current existing approach as it focuses on a single learning outcome or competency at a time, which is usually a small component of a larger learning goal.

Unlike in the past when students moved through the system like in a factory production, in the new curriculum, a student will not be allowed to proceed to higher levels until the desired learning outcomes are adequately demonstrated. There are benefits to this approach in the sense that it will be difficult for students to cheat through the system since the assessment of each student is complex involving both formative (where the teacher continuously gathers student data to adjust teaching and learning as needed) and summative approaches (where the teacher evaluates the student after teaching makes judgment on the mastery of a skill or competency).

In previous systems, the teacher often ignored slow students especially those needing special attention. With the right investment in technology, where the students adopt self-learning methods, the system will eventually empower the students to take control of their learning journey.

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The teacher therefore becomes a facilitator who gathers assessment data and prescribes solutions based on individual competencies. Highly motivated students may move ahead of the teacher and could skip some units if they demonstrate the mastery of the knowledge and skills in any particular unit. This departure from traditional approaches to teaching is the source of the anticipated conflict between Knut and Prof Magoha.

The new system will force the teachers to invest longer hours in class and adopt life-long learning in order for them to be relevant in class. Many of them will find their competencies to be inadequate given the fact that the new system will demand that they be aware of the many online sources that support learning as well as involving the parents to support learners.

There are just a few teachers familiar with supplementary online material. Many will not have the time for remedial lessons that in other countries require the services of another teacher.

The system will be so demanding that in my view, there is no amount of preparation capable of bringing some of the teachers to the level of competence required in the new curriculum.

The new system must be in place to ensure inclusivity and get rid of solely measuring success based on the performance in exams and forcing students to result to rote learning.

Last year, only 14 percent of the 660,204 candidates qualified to join university. It is the reason why the 2010 Constitution emphatically stated in Article 55 (a) that the State shall take measures, including affirmative action programmes, to ensure that the youth access relevant education and training.

In 2012, the Ministry of Education embarked on aligning education to the Constitution, the vision 2030 and the global standards. Sessional Paper Number 2 of 2015 gave the clear policy mandate to the ministry to start the reform process. In 2016, KICD conducted a needs assessment survey leading to a recommendation that the country needed 21st century skills.

The previous system could not therefore have been sufficient to meet the emerging demands. Knut was aware of the development and if indeed they were opposed right from the start, they would have expressed their opposition much earlier. New curriculum is our bridge to the emerging Fourth Industrial Revolution.

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World Bank pushes G-20 to extend debt relief to 2021

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World Bank Group President David Malpass has urged the Group of 20 rich countries to extend the time frame of the Debt Service Suspension Initiative(DSSI) through the end of 2021, calling it one of the key factors in strengthening global recovery.

“I urge you to extend the time frame of the DSSI through the end of 2021 and commit to giving the initiative as broad a scope as possible,” said Malpass.

He made these remarks at last week’s virtual G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting.

The World Bank Chief said the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered the deepest global recession in decades and what may turn out to be one of the most unequal in terms of impact.

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People in developing countries are particularly hard hit by capital outflows, declines in remittances, the collapse of informal labor markets, and social safety nets that are much less robust than in the advanced economies.

For the poorest countries, poverty is rising rapidly, median incomes are falling and growth is deeply negative.

Debt burdens, already unsustainable for many countries, are rising to crisis levels.

“The situation in developing countries is increasingly desperate. Time is short. We need to take action quickly on debt suspension, debt reduction, debt resolution mechanisms and debt transparency,” said Malpass.

ALSO READ:Global Economy Plunges into Worst Recession – World Bank

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Kenya’s Central Bank Drafts New Laws to Regulate Non-Bank Digital Loans

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The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) will regulate interest rates charged on mobile loans by digital lending platforms if amendments on the Central bank of Kenya Act pass to law. The amendments will require digital lenders to seek approval from CBK before launching new products or changing interest rates on loans among other charges, just like commercial banks.

“The principal objective of this bill is to amend the Central bank of Kenya Act to regulate the conduct of providers of digital financial products and services,” reads a notice on the bill. “CBK will have an obligation of ensuring that there is fair and non-discriminatory marketplace access to credit.”

According to Business Daily, the legislation will also enable the Central Bank to monitor non-performing loans, capping the limit at not twice the amount of the defaulted loan while protecting consumers from predatory lending by digital loan platforms.

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Tighter Reins on Platforms for Mobile Loans

The legislation will boost efforts to protect customers, building upon a previous gazette notice that blocked lenders from blacklisting non-performing loans below Ksh 1000. The CBK also withdrew submissions of unregulated mobile loan platforms into Credit Reference Bureau. The withdrawal came after complaints of misuse over data in the Credit Information Sharing (CIS) System available for lenders.

Last year, Kenya had over 49 platforms providing mobile loans, taking advantage of regulation gaps to charge obscene rates as high as 150% a year. While most platforms allow borrowers to prepay within a month, creditors still pay the full amount plus interest.

Amendments in the CBK Act will help shield consumers from high-interest rates as well as offer transparency on terms of digital loans.

SEE ALSO: Central Bank Unveils Measures to Tame Unregulated Digital Lenders

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Scope Markets Kenya customers to have instant access to global financial markets

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NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 20 – Clients trading through the Scope Markets Kenya trading platform will get instant access to global financial markets and wider investment options. 

This follows the launch of a new Scope Markets app, available on both the Google PlayStore and IOS Apple Store.

The Scope Markets app offers clients over 500 investment opportunities across global financial markets.

The Scope Markets app has a brand new user interface that is very user friendly, following feedback from customers.

The application offers real-time quotes; newsfeeds; research facilities, and a chat feature which enables a customer to make direct contact with the Customer Service Team during trading days (Monday to Friday).

The platform also offers an enhanced client interface including catering for those who trade at night.

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The client will get instant access to several asset classes in the global financial markets including; Single Stocks CFDs (US, UK, EU) such as Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google, BP, Carrefour;  Indices (Nasdaq, FTSE UK), Metals (Gold, Silver); Currencies (60+ Pairs), Commodities (Oil, Natural Gas).

The launch is part of Scope Markets Kenya strategy of enriching the customer experience while offering clients access to global trading opportunities.

Scope Markets Kenya CEO, Kevin Ng’ang’a observed, “the Sope Markets app is very easy to use especially when executing trades. Customers are at the heart of everything we do. We designed the Scope Markets app with the customer experience in mind as we seek to respond to feedback from our customers.”

He added that enhancing the client experience builds upon the robust trading platform, Meta Trader 5, unveiled in 2019, enabling Scope Markets Kenya to broaden the asset classes available on the trading platform.

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