Embu: Parents, education stakeholders laud university for academic outreach program

EDUCATION UNIVERSITY OUTREACH
University of Embu student led by J . Kasanga during an outreach program organised by the ECPDA /Photo By Robert Nyagah

Parents and other education stakeholders in Manyatta want authorities at the University of Embu to expand their outreach to schools in the region.

The stakeholders said while the university had successfully launched attractive academic and extra-curriculum outreach programs to schools in its neighborhoods, some parts of Embu County seem to have been ignored.

Led by chairpersons of education committees of various Early Childhood Education Development (ECED), primary and secondary schools, they appreciated the good working relationship and academic skills sharing the University management had with education institutions.

Speaking to Education News after an inter-school parents meeting in Gatondo area, Mrs Ann Mwangi said that schools in the neighborhoods of the University of Embu seemed to get more favours from the institution.

The academic benefits from the University, Mrs Mwangi said should be expanded to cover all parts of the County where career guidance and mentorship forums were needed among learners in lower institutions.

The parents challenged the County government of Embu to facilitate mentors from the Embu County Professionals Development Association (ECPDA) which had launched intensive mentorship forums to incorporate educationists from UoE in its work.

In the recent past learners and teachers of schools closer to the University led by Kangaru School, Kangaru Girls and D.E.B Kangaru Primary School have benefitted from various academic outreach programs from the Department of Education at the university.

The presence of the highly qualified university lecturers and students of various faculties within Embu County, the parents said should never be taken for granted hence the need for closer interaction with all learning institutions across the County.

According to various reports from the University, the most recent and successful outreach interactions saw the school of education organise a successful Competency-Based Assessment Capacity Building Workshop.

The majority of the participants were drawn from various ECDE teaching fraternity, parents with children in pre-primary schools from the neighboring community, university students and education officers who were equipped with knowledge and skills geared towards the implementation of competency-based assessment in their areas.

During the forum, Prof. Kiplagat Kotut, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor in charge of Academic research and Extension encouraged the teachers and parents to continue supporting the children as they progressed in their studies.

One of the resource people and the Dean School of Education, Dr. Ciriaka Gitonga advised ECDE teachers to keep encouraging the children because it was during the tender age lessons when good values were developed to shape the children’s future positively.

In the forum, Nellie Velle, from Aga Khan Education Service Kenya took the participants through the Competency Based Assessment Framework including skills on CBC tools which participants said offered practical knowledge on how to assess and evaluate the competency levels of their learners.

While commenting on the results of the workshops, beneficiaries agreed that the skills they gained would ease the assessment of learners under their teaching.

The teachers thanked the University authorities for facilitating them to appreciate competencies and where extra attention was required stressing that in future they ensure concentration in learner-centered approach to education.

Parents who went through the forum appreciated the opportunity to learn about Competency-Based Assessment and how they could support their children as they studied at home.

Generally, stakeholders in the County argue that aiding closer interaction between the university and learners would encourage continuous training and capacity building to ensure effective implementation of the CBC.

Competency-based assessment is an essential component of the CBC system in the County and Kenya as a whole.

By Robert Nyagah

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