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Parents hardly assist with their children’s homework – report says

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A new report has revealed that a majority of parents are not involved in their children’s studies.

According to the report, only one in 10 fathers help with their children’s homework.

Mothers consistently performed better, with two in 10 helping their children.

In the rest of the cases, the children either did the homework on their own or were assisted by their siblings.

The report which was released on Friday by the Kenya National Examination Council (Knec), revealed that in Class Two, a majority (68 per cent) of teachers reported that parents did not check their children’s homework, a situation that can lead to low educational achievement.

The study also shows that most teachers do not involve parents in supervision of children’s learning.

“Teachers do not adequately involve parents in supervision of children’s learning.

“For instance in Class Six, a large proportion of English teachers (50.6 per cent) did not ask parents to sign pupils’ homework,” the report says.

“North Eastern had the lowest percentage of English teachers requiring parents to sign homework at 11.6 per cent.

“Further, 51.2 per cent of Mathematics teachers did not ask parents or guardians to sign their children’s homework,” the report adds.

In Form Two, the report says a significant proportion (10.6 per cent) of students (day scholars) reported not to complete homework because their parents or guardians never checked their work.

“This points to lack of motivation to the learners due to limited supervision and interest from their parents or guardians,” the report reads.

Nationally, the report says 36.5 per cent of Class Three pupils were assisted in doing homework by their brothers and sisters, with 31.4 per cent reporting that they did homework on their own.

“Moreover, although the proportion of parents assisting their children in doing homework is low (29.6 per cent), it is notable that mothers assist more in homework compared to fathers at 20.1 per cent and 9.5 per cent respectively,” the report says.

It adds that for Class Six, 15.3 per cent of the pupils were never assisted with homework at home.

North Eastern region has the highest percentage of pupils who were never helped with their homework at home (40.6 per cent), followed by Eastern (19.3 per cent).

Education Principal Secretary Belio Kipsang and Teachers Service Commission chief executive officer Nancy Macharia said they will work together to ensure that learners get quality education.

“We will look at these issues so that we have policies that are informed in terms of research,” Dr Kipsang said.

In Form Two, the report revealed that most day scholars were unable to complete their work due to household chores such as cleaning (63.4 per cent), cooking (56.7 per cent), fetching firewood (50.7 per cent), farm work (40.5 per cent) and taking care of animals (35.4 per cent).

It was also reported in Class Two study that 80.7 per cent of head teachers cited work at home as one of the main reasons for pupil absenteeism.

In Class Three, teacher absenteeism was reported as affecting syllabus coverage to a large extent at 47.7 per cent.

“Indiscipline among teachers continues to be reported. In Class Six, late arrival to school (88.7 per cent), absenteeism (69.5 per cent) and skipping classes (64.3 per cent) were reported as the major indiscipline cases among teachers.

In Form Two, the report showed that dropout was higher among boys than girls.

Financial reasons were cited as the main cause of student dropout across all classes.

Truancy, low academic achievements, marriage and pregnancies were also cited.