It is increasingly being acknowledged globally that involving learners in community service has a lasting and positive impact on themselves and society at large. Community Service Learning (CSL) extends learning beyond the classroom into the community.
Learning happens through experiential learning strategies that integrate classroom learning and community service to enable learners to reflect, experience and learn from the community.
CSL combines classroom learning and community service, allowing learners to work with community members to solve local problems and to learn from their own experiences.
Summative Evaluation Report of 2009 revealed that Kenyan curriculum was heavily academic and examination oriented, consequently limiting flexible education pathways for identification and nurturing aptitudes, talents and interests of learners, early enough to prepare them for the world of work, career progression and sustainable development.
CSL is therefore being emphasized as it enhances holistic development of learners (BECF, 2017). In addition, CSL promotes transformation of society with respect to embracing desirable values, including the ethos of providing service to the community (Taskforce Report, 2020).
Kenya Vision 2030 emphasises the link between education and the labour market. Learners need to be supported to develop entrepreneurial competencies and strengthen partnerships with the private sector.
Kenya Vision 2030’s social pillar aims to build a just and cohesive society where social equity, a clean and secure environment are cherished.
CSL will provide opportunities for empowering the citizens with the necessary knowledge, 21st Century skills and competencies to realize the national development goals.
This is also in line with the Constitution of Kenya 2010 which upholds such values and principles as social justice, equity, inclusiveness and sustainable development (Republic of Kenya, 2010).
Principles of CSL in Basic Education
The following principles will guide the implementation of CSL:
1.Training and Continuous Professional Development
2. Community Empowerment and Engagement
3. Reflective Learning
4. Whole School Approach
Implementation of CSL in Basic Education
Early Years and Upper Primary(G4-6)
Curriculum designs provide for age-appropriate CSL activities for each strand (where applicable) in every grade.
The suggested CSL activities correlate with the subject matter.
Learners engage in age-appropriate community-based activities are intended to support the achievement of learning outcomes.
COMMUNITY SERVICE LEARNING PROJECT FOR GRADE 7
CSL learning activities are domiciled in Life Skills Education. Below is the strand and its sub strands.
Life Skills Education at grade 7 will give an insight into the concept of CSL and give guidance on how to carry out a CSL project
Learners will undertake one integrated group project in this grade. The activity will give learners an opportunity to practice the CSL Project skills covered under LSE.This CSL project will be assessed.
The learning approach will take the form of a whole school approach, where the entire school community will be engaged in the learning process.
Teachers will guide learners to execute a simple school based integrated CSL class activity. This activity can be done outside the classroom time.
The steps for carrying out a CSL project include:
a) Identifying a problem in the community through research
b) Planning to solve the identified problem in the community (What data collection tools will be used? Where will the data be collected? Target group)
c) Designing solutions/strategies to address the identified problem-(how will the groups be divided ? What resources will be used?)
d) Implementing the recommended solution(s) to address the problem
e) Sharing /reporting/ on findings of the project done
f) Reflecting on own learning and relevance of the project
CSL Skills to be covered:
Research : Learners will develop research skills as they investigate PCIs to address the activity, ways and tools to use in collecting the data, manner in which they will analyse information and present their findings.
Communication:Learners will develop effective communication skills for as they engage with peers and school community members. These will include listening actively, asking questions, presentation skills using varied modes etc.
Citizenship: : Learner will be able to explore opportunities for engagement as members of the school community and providing a service for the common good.
Leadership: Learners develop leadership skills as they take up various roles within the CSL activity.
Financial Literacy Skills: Learners consider how they can undertake the project as well as sourcing and utilising resources effectively and efficiently.
Entrepreneurship: Learners consider ways of generating income through innovation for the CSL class activity.
In carrying out the project, it is expected that the learners will use knowledge and skills learnt in various subjects. This in essence will bring about the aspect of integration of CSL.
Learners may do a project that seeks to find ways of conserving water in the school community.
They may use knowledge and skills learnt in various subjects to carry out the tasks.
COMMUNITY SERVICE LEARNING PROJECT FOR GRADE 8
Learners will prepare for an integrated CSL group project. This project will have milestones that will be documented and assessed.
- Identify a problem in the community through research
- Make plans to solve the identified problem in the community (What data collection tools will be used?Where will the data be collected? Target group)
- Design solutions/strategies to address the identified problem- (how will the groups be divided ? What resources will be used?)
COMMUNITY SERVICE LEARNING PROJECT FOR GRADE 9
- Learners will carry out an integrated project done in group work. The project will be a continuation of Community Service Learning activity at grade 8 and will focus on implementation, showcasing and reflection as follows:
Implement the recommended solution(s) to address the problem
- share /report/ on findings of the project done
- Reflect on the learnings and relevance of the project
CSL in Senior Secondary School(G10-12)
CSL is a core, stand-alone subject. Each learner will be expected to carry out at least 135 hours of community service throughout their three years in senior school.
Identified individuals assigned to support the learner undertaking the community service will sign a logbook against the hours served. The learner will be provided with a log book developed by KICD.
The capstone CSL project will form part of the summative assessment.