Posted at 10.01.2018
The purpose of this essay is to explore what Child Friendly University policies could learn from Comparative and International Research. Reference to CFSs in Kenya will be made with emphasis on the backdrop of CFSs, current techniques and growing critics, success testimonies, problems and pitfalls and what CIR can do to subjugate many of these challenges. I will start by examining the rationale for exploring CFSs, predicated on literature and my professional experience. Following this qualifications will be books surrounding the ideas of CIR and CFSs in relation to global agendas, discovering how CFSs came into existence and the generating forces behind it. Then i continue to give attention to a case study of CFS in Kenya, speaking about the role of CIR in the Kenya's CFS, arguing that CIR is used as a politics tool in creating educational coverage, rather than research method or an intellectual inquiry. I am going to further critically analyze issues facing CFSs and how knowledge on CIR can contribute better to successful execution of CFS policies. A conclusion predicated on the literature and author's experience will then be drawn. Throughout the essay, I create a case in favour of CIR arguing that CIR stimulates critical reflections about our educational systems by investigating commonalities and distinctions across national edges.
Comparative and international education is one of the main areas of education with
many benefits, judged by the volume of studies reported in the books. Central to the is that many countries surrounding the world have formulated a few of their educational regulations based on knowledge and research from CIR. With the existing influx of globalization, experts and experts, especially in neuro-scientific education, are always looking for ways of streamlining their educational policies with the global fads. Matching to Giddens (1990:64), globalization is 'the intensification of worldwide social relations which website link distance localities in such a way that local happenings are designed by events occurring many miles away and vice versa'. Global makes therefore have an impact on shaping local techniques at grass main levels. To carry out this tactically and critically, comparative and interior research remains leading edge in informing people about the realities, the issues and the possible ramifications of uncritical copy of ideas.
One of the key developments in education has been the prioritisation of basic education as opposed to adult education or more education. In Africa, this would be probably because, as Oketch (2004) points out, basic education yields higher rates of returns compared to higher education. This has consequently influenced federal government and non-governmental organizations to target more on increasing the quality of basic education. Child-friendly classes (CFSs) in Kenya can be an exemplory case of a initiative sponsored by UNICEF with the purpose of not simply providing children right to education but the right to the "right" education. Quite simply, CFSs are more concerned with the quality of basic education in addition to its access. The introduction of CFSs in Kenya was catapulted by the causes of agendas 1 and 2 of Millenium Development Goals (MDGs) which stresses on the provision of basic education. The World Education Community (2000) agreed on six Education FOR ANY (EFA) goals. The 6th goal worried Education quality, 'enhancing all aspects of the grade of education and guaranteeing excellence of most so that recognised and measurable learning results are achieved by all, especially in literacy, numeracy and essential life skills. ' The term "quality" in education is powerful as a result of social, politics and economic framework of which it can be used. Milligan (2011:276) adds that 'quality has, thus, been positioned as an integral cog in the educational development machine although how educational quality is identified is a subject of great contention'. Because of differences in contexts, it is critical that knowledge of comparative and international research be utilized in designing policies and pedagogy in CFSs that fit that one context.
Furthermore, with worries that some countries may lag behind as others progress, countries from sub-Sahara Africa are actually participating in various practices in order to accomplish these educational goals, a competition contrary to the 2015 place deadline for attainment of EFA goals. As the clock ticks towards the entire year 2015, top priority goals in education may change for post-2015 and the be concerned is further increased. One of the efforts the government of Kenya does to increase the quality of education is by integrating CFS model in to the basic education system. Two major questions occur here: First, how is CFS genuine considering myriad difficulties facing the FPE insurance policy in Kenya? Subsequently, if integrating CFS model into basic education will help in improving the grade of education, what lessons can CFS procedures study from CIR? It really is against this background that the purpose of this article hinges.
In this section, I am going to look at the principles of Comparative and International Research (CIR) and Child Friendly College (CFS) predicated on the literature and merge them with the global makes that influenced the introduction of CFS with an attempt to unveil the voices behind the advantages of CFS in Kenya. Furthermore, I am going to use an example of PRISM experience in Kenya to bolster the knowledge of the role of international physiques to advertise quality through well strategized and performed jobs, arguing that lessons from PRISM experience can be utilized as insights to successful execution of CFS regulations.
CIR is a fusion of two broad regions of research: Comparative Research and International Research. To comprehend its full so this means, it is important we define both regions of research independently. In his classification of comparative research, Mills et al (year) dispute that:
'Comparative research is a broad term that includes both quantitative and qualitative comparability of interpersonal entities. Public entities may be based on many lines, such as physical or politics ones by means of cross-national or regional comparisons'. (p. 621)
A similar conception was echoed by Noah and Eckstein (1969:127), who detailed comparative education as "an intersection of the interpersonal sciences, education and cross-national study [which] attempts to use cross-national data to check propositions about the relationship between education and society and between teaching routines and learning outcomes".
In light of the classification, comparative research in the context of education can be defined as a study of two or more entities or situations (Crossley & Watson, 2003) with the fundamental goal of looking for similarity and variance. Cross-national or regional comparisons may include comparing educational insurance policies, pedagogy, educational control and so forth. Relating to Mills et al (2006: 621), 'the search for variance places more focus on context and difference in order to understand specificities'.
International education, on the other hand, can be explained as 'the request of information, analyses and insights discovered in one or more nations to the problems of producing educational systems and organizations in other countries' (Wilson 2000a: 116). Thus, international research can be involved with research completed across several countries, often with the purpose of comparing responses between them. This might be done in order to devise strategies that work very well across both or all these cultures or even to suggest local alterations to a worldwide strategy
There is a close romance between comparative and international education. Epstein (1994: 918) points out, that international educators 'use findings derived from comparative education to comprehend better the processes they examine, and thus, to enhance their ability to make insurance policy'. We are able to therefore pull from the aforementioned two definitions that CIR in education as a way of evaluating both qualitative and quantitative entities in education across different countries, societies or cultures with the aim of determining similarities and dissimilarities. It is however important to note that not all international research is comparative, and not all comparative research is international or cross-national.
According to UNICEF (2007), a child-friendly institution is both a child seeking institution and a child-centred school: It is child seeking since it actively determining excluded children to get them enrolled in university. It really is a child-centred school because it works in the needs of the kid leading to the realization of the child's full potential, can be involved about the "whole" child: her health, nutritional status, and well-being and concerned about what goes on to children before they type in school and once they leave university. A CFS system recognizes and respects children's right and tasks; it offers the allowing environment to understand children's right not only in colleges, but also in children's home and their areas. Included in these are children from turmoil zones, block children and children with disabilities. The Child-Friendly Colleges model (see fig 1) is dependant on simple, rights-based ideas that would have all schools be:
Rights Based University: CFS proactively looks for out-of-school children and stimulates them to enrol, irrespective of gender, race, ability, social position, etc.
Gender Sensitive University: CFS stimulates equality and equity in enrolment and accomplishment among girls and boys.
Safe and Defensive School: CFS means that all children can learn in a safe and inclusive environment.
Community Engaged University: CFS promotes partnership among institutions, communities, parents and children in all respects of the training process.
Academically Effective Institution: CFS provides children with relevant knowledge and skills for surviving and growing in life.
Health Promoting College: CFS helps bring about the physical and psychological health of children by achieving key dietary and health care needs within colleges.
Fig 1: Model of the Child-Friendly School
Source: UNICEF, Global Education Strategy, 2007
The CFS model offers a construction for planning (and monitoring the potency of) strategies for increasing usage of quality basic education with the precise focus on the introduction of strategies to include those children hitherto excluded from education (UNICEF, Global Education Strategy, 2007). It's important to note that there surely is no "one-way" to make a college child-friendly. The model may differ from country to country depending on context.
Education in sub-Sahara Africa, and even in Kenya, is built from both influences by global tendencies in education and the legacies of colonialism. Chisholm and Leyenderker (2008) observe that:
"Since 1990, the goals and reason for education in sub-Sahara Africa has been reshaped by four interconnected trends: globalisation, the adjusted concentration of international aid firms towards development assistance, the adaptation of sub-Sahara African countries to the " new world " order with its new political emphases, and the spilling over of new pedagogical ideas from the united states and European countries into sub-Sahara Africa". (p 198)
Kenya is a signatory to lots of conventions in education, like the Convention to the Privileges of the Child (1989), the earth Declaration on Education for those (Jomtien, 1990), the Dakar accord and the Millenium Development Goals (2000). In success of education development goals, Kenya is bound to, among other activities, quality education by MDGs. The Jomtien demand access for access, collateral, quality and democracy in education appeared to promise both public and economic development (Chisholm and Leyenderker, 2008). Sociable and financial development, and continues to be believed, requires educational change and educational change is necessary for communal and economic development (ibid:). Educational change, subsequently, is identified to be based upon, amongst other things, the input from relevant development assistance projects. These projects, in the arena of education, are usually formulated with reference to internationally negotiated development agendas (like the MDGs) and goal (Crossley & Watson, 2003). A good example of these jobs in Kenya is CFSs that happen to be supported by US Children's Fund (UNICEF). THE TRAINING Section of UNICEF's Programme Section introduced the Child Friendly Institutions (CFS) platform for academic institutions that "serve the whole child" in 1999 (Chabbott, 2004).
The increased reliance of international aid to support education reform in Kenya has been accompanied by a change, from 'understanding education as a individuals right and the general good to viewing it mostly in terms of its contribution to nationwide growth and well-being through the introduction of the knowledge and skills societies are regarded to need' (Arnove & Torres 2007:359). Occasional voices continue insisting that 'education is liberating, that learning is inherently developmental' (ibid: 359).
With the global matter that Sub-sahara Africa countries may not achieve Universal Main Education (UPE) by 2015 unless the improvement is accelerated (Carceles et al. , 2001; Bennel, 2002), Kenya responded by launching Free Key Education (FPE) policy in 2003 with both local and global pressure. The rationale behind adding FPE was (apart from the pressure from global and international agendas) to alleviate poverty related to insufficient literacy skills. The success tale behind execution of FPE insurance policy is the increased enrolment at major schools by nearly 50%, from 5. 9 million in 2003 to 9. 38 million pupils based on the Kenya Economic Review 2011. However, there are myriad issues facing the implementation of FPE policy: there are not enough textbooks, classrooms are overcrowded and the infrastructure in many colleges is insufficient for the numbers of pupils attending. Lots of the schools do not have sanitation facilities. The teacher-pupil proportion is quite high: according to UNESCO there are more than 40 pupils per tutor, on average. All of these factors militate contrary to the provision of quality coaching. There is no powerful wand for mending this problem of quality in education. In response to the CFS were introduced in Kenya. Relating to UNICEF (2006:1):
The task in education is not only to get children into school, but also to enhance the overall quality of schooling and address risks to involvement. If both quality and gain access to are tackled, children who are enrolled in primary school will probably continue, complete the full pattern, and achieve expected learning results and successfully change to secondary school.
The CFS framework (see appendix 3) is aimed at promoting child-seeking, child-centred, gender-sensitive, inclusive, community-involved, defensive and healthy approaches to schooling and out-of-school education with an over-all goal of increasing the quality of learning.
Since CFSs are worried with the grade of learning, it's important we go through the meaning of "quality". The nationwide examinations to obtain the Kenya License of Principal Education (KCPE) at the end of primary circuit and the Kenya License of Extra Education (KCSE) at the end of secondary routine are designed to evaluate the scope to that your primary and extra graduates master the curriculum content. In other words, the countrywide test scores are being used as the indications of quality. The limitation of this indicator is that it generally does not look at the context of which learning takes place i. e. the training environment, learners' unique characteristics etc. There are numerous meanings of quality but one of the information of quality which stresses on the context was by Tikly (2011:10) who argued that:
A good quality education is the one which enables all learners to appreciate the capabilities they need to become economically productive, develop lasting livelihoods, contribute to peaceful and democratic societies and enhance wellbeing. The learning outcomes that are required vary corresponding to framework but at the end of the basic education routine must include threshold levels of literacy and numeracy and life skills including awareness and reduction of disease.
In his explanation, Tikly believes a good quality education comes from relationships between three overlapping conditions, namely the plan, the institution and the home/community conditions. In his understanding of quality education, Tikly puts context into consideration i. e. needs of the learner, social and political contexts. In addition, he emphasizes on the relevance of what is taught and discovered and exactly how it fits the nature of particular learners involved. This 'motivates policy makers for taking cognisance of changing countrywide development needs, the types of classes that different learners attend and the forms of educational disadvantage confronted by different sets of learners when contemplating insurance plan options'(ibid:11).
The undeniable fact that CFS stresses on learner-centered pedagogy and places the kid at the "centre" or "center point" in the training process raises the idea of "what's thought to be valuable knowledge" and "how this knowledge is acquired" in this particular context. This leads us to the inquiry on the institution of thought or paradigm behind producing a contextualized CFS framework. CFS as an approach to education is premised on constructivism, a theory of knowledge arguing that humans generate knowledge and interpretation from connections between ideas and real activities. Relating to constructivists, the notions of certainty and real truth are socially constructed and in several context with the knowing that knowledge is subjective and embedded in multiple realities. Thus, quality of learning should be looked at in the context in which it is occurs.
Before we acknowledge the contribution of CFS in providing quality education to the children at Primary university level, it will be prudent to review some of other contributions that has been created by international organizations in collaborations with the local government to advertise quality of education at grassroot levels in building research capacity.
Kenya has had a history of profiting from international assistance in its education sector. Among the programmes is the principal Academic institutions Management (PRISM), an effort of DfID through the Ministry of Education, which places a lot of emphasis on participatory solutions and emphasis on mobilising community support, reference management and utilisation, encouraging learning of pupils and growing action plans. It targeted tutor training and management and the impact of this is overall effectiveness associated with an education system which has a immediate bearing on quality of education. Regarding to Otieno & Colclough (2009:26), PRISM is undoubtedly 'one of donor-funded programmes which had most positive effect on quality' of basic education and CFS can study from it. As Crossley et al ()notes, the key aim of PRISM was to increase the quality of major education through working out and support of head professors in useful management skills. Borrowing from the PRISM experience it is worthwhile learning that well designed and planned CFSs policies concerning community contribution at grass main level may help amplify local voices and lead to successful implementation of educational policies not only in Kenya but also other areas of African contexts.
In this section I am going to explore common issues associated with the CFSs with an goal of illuminating and critiquing the gap between coverage and practice in CFSs.
As I stated before, one of the role of CFS in Kenya is to enhance the quality of learning. But the usage of education continues to be an effort in Kenya and there is fear that Kenya will not have achieved EFA goals 1 and 2 by the year 2015. Even as near the 2015 set in place deadline for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, at the same time when expectations should be high, general access to principal education in Kenya seems to be sliding away. Many comparative researchers dispute that different countries have different educational problems and it is the country's responsibility to identify what ought to be the priority and why. Aksoy (2008: 218) observes that:
While developed countries are mainly engaged in activities to increase the quality of education, or they practice and seek new techniques and methods of learning and instructing, developing countries struggle to provide equal opportunities for education, trying to raise the rate of contribution of all citizens in basic education, which is in fact compulsory. To deal with its educational problems, each country computes countrywide or local solutions, depending on nature of the situation.
The tone of such affirmation is more closely allied to the question of top priority. Priority in a single country might not exactly be a goal in another. In Kenya, the major problem basic education is facing is of gain access to while higher education is facing the condition of quality. CFS concentration more on quality, however in the Kenyan context, access to education continues to be problems in basic education even after the benefits of FPE. The CFS concept of quality can however suit perfectly in some small status commonwealth countries which have almost universal access to basic education. It's been known that small sates have finally shifted education priorities towards concentrate in school effectiveness, quality and inclusion (Crossley, 2002) after making certain all children have seen basic education and CFSs in Kenya should learn from small claims that the priority should now be on usage of basic education before moving to quality.
A key feature of an right-based, CFS system is that it's linked firmly to the child-centred learning process. CFS advocates for child-centred learning in which a child is cared for as an individual entity or an "atom" in learning procedures. The idea of "atomizing" a child has its downsides produced from child-centred learning. First, there can be an oversight on early on year development behaviour of the kid. Psychologists believe children undertake various levels of development and their learning behaviours will vary at each level. For instant, Vygotsky's (1978) idea of the area of proximal development (ZPD) means that a kid cannot regular create ZPD by himself; he needs a lot more expert specific to bridge the distance between his current development level and his proximal degree of development. Second, a child-friendly, democratic learning environment might not exactly work successful in overcrowded classrooms and university with limited resources enjoy it is the situation in Kenya. Finally, child-centred learning weakens the role of the tutor. The idea that a child must be effective in structure of knowledge is often recognized to imply a diminishing role for the teacher in learning process who now becomes a "coach" or a facilitator". A demand paradigm restoration, from an exclusively child-centred learning to a mixture of both child-centred learning and teacher-centred learning approach is important so the weakness of one method is complemented by the other method.
King (2007) stresses the necessity to explore the tension between the national and the international coverage agendas in Kenya in order to make informed decisions when crafting educational guidelines. Clearly, this is a view that acknowledges the contribution of CIR researchers in bridging theories, policies and techniques with both local and global intellects (Crossley, 2000) in seeking to recognize betters grounds to critically indicate and determine appropriate plan of action.
Apparently, the term that is often found in Kenya and even many Africa countries in the original processes of building an educational insurance policy is benchmarking. Essentially, this is usually a comparative study which is carried out locally and/or internationally in trying to compare different models of policy framework with the aim of critical adaption or adoption. Lessons are well learned when a comparisons are made, which underscores the durability and significance of comparative research. In addition, since problems transcend nationwide edges, it is prudent to get possible solutions from a similar experience in another country, and this points out why international research is important. Kenya can learn from other countries that are either progressing or failing to implement CFS regulations because lessons can either identify opportunities or gaps, predicated on comparative examination. In these value therefore, I have identified two important elements of CIR that could help implementation of CFS.
The first component is on recognition of the gap between insurance plan and practice. Documenting the appearing good practices and lessons learned within the areas pays to in informing proof based development and advocacy to allow us to accomplish better results. For instance, a Global Evaluation Report publicized by UNICEF in 2009 2009 on comparative studies of how to six countries (Guyana, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Philippines, South Africa, Thailand) with different experience implementing CFS, proven the next:
CFSs in varying contexts successfully apply the three key guidelines of CFS models-inclusiveness, child-centredness and democratic involvement.
Schools operating in very different countrywide contexts, with different degrees of resources and providing populations with different needs have succeeded in being child-centred, promoting democratic contribution, and being inclusive.
Schools that acquired high levels of family and community participation and use of child-centred pedagogical strategies had more powerful conditions for learning, that is, students noticed safer, supported and engaged, and thought that the people in the school supported the inclusion and success of every pupil. (UNESCO, 2009)
Kenya may use this success are accountable to help out with providing a broader point of view on the ways that CFSs can donate to quality in the country's unique context. The extreme caution should however be that any steps used must have hindsight of the current context in the united states to avoid uncritical transfer of practice which may end up opening a Pandora's field.
Secondly, through CIR, studies of educational systems that show similar problems provides information for learning possible results. A recently available comparative analysis research conducted by UNESCO in Nigeria, Gunaya, Thailand and the Philippines on CFS pedagogy offered different findings. While instructors in Nigeria and Guyana mainly centered on assembly basic instructional materials needs (textbooks, paper), many professors in Thailand and the Philippines centered on having greater access to information and communication technology (UNESCO 2009). Kenya experience the same task as Nigeria and Gunaya, and data from these countries can be used to learn how they coping with insufficient basic instructional materials. The extreme care here should be, that "common problems may prevail in various countries, but 'common model' can't be applied because each country has different culture/context" (Crossley & Watson, 2003:39). This gives very helpful information of what to adopt, change or avoid.
It is deserving reiterating Crossley'(2003) emphasis that "framework matters" and different countries have different needs and priorities even if they are confronted with the same obstacles. The value of CIR is learning foreign systems of education to be remembered as 'better fitted to study and understand our own' (Sadler 1900, reprinted 1964:310) and CIR can be utilized as a lense to concentrate on flexible or adoptable tactics. UNICEF regularly emphasises that CFS is a "pathway to educational quality" rather than "blueprint" and that "it is counterproductive to respect the CFS model as rigid, with a present-day volume of defining characteristics or key components" (2009c, Ch. 1, p. 9). Thus, the essay sought to present an overview towards the contribution of CIR by highlighting what CFS policies
in the Kenyan framework could learn from CIR. As a result, the essay acknowledges the role of CIR in stimulating critical thinking and reflections about CFSs system by analyzing its success and failures, strengths and weaknesses. This critical representation facilitates self evaluation in our own context and the foundation for identifying appropriate lessons of action. The essay also clues that CIR helps us understand global agendas and how they shape educational development tasks from organizations and development businesses.