All P1 Teachers To Upgrade To Diploma
The ministry of education has revealed that it is working on the school based programme for teachers with P1 certificates to upgrade to diploma programmes with competency based curriculum pedagogies. The director of teacher education in the ministry of education, Habat Jubat Abdi stated that unlike the current entry grades for those joining directly; the qualification for P1 teachers will only be a P1 certificate.
“KICD (Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development) is working on the School Based Curriculum. We’re not putting entry requirements the same way for direct entry. The entry requirements for teachers who are already practicing will just be the P1 Certificate,” said Abdi.
According to Basic Education Statistical Booklet 2019 released last year by the Ministry of Education,there are 219,732 teachers in public primary schools of whom 175,712 teachers are P1 Certificate holders. His sentiments comes after various education stakeholders and educationist raised concern over the high entry grades put in place by the Ministry for those willing to enroll for Diploma in PrimaryTeacher Education (DPTE).
According to Abdi, the proposal is not a bad idea since it will give them opportunity to upgrade during the holidays when schools are closed, and unlike the new programme which will take three years for them, it will only take two years.
“I don’t think we will have a problem with the School based in-service programme. If a teacher is given an opportunity to study during the holiday and get the Diploma after two years, they will be more than willing to join,”said Abdi.
Various stakeholders who have raised concern over the low number of those who qualify for the new DPTE and Diploma in Early Childhood Development Education (DECDE) due to high entry requirements put in place by the Ministry of Education when it advertised for the recruitment drive twice.
Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) Deputy Secretary General, Hesbon Otieno raised concern that low number of those qualifying currently may imply that in the near future we may not get adequate teachers skilled with CBC pedagogies in implementing the new curriculum.He called upon the government and qualification authority to review the entrygrades. “I think C- (minus) is not a bad grade but if you put it at C plain then you still get thosechallenges,” said Otieno. He said C plain will create a competition with others like medical and technical courses where one is guaranteed employment after graduating, adding that the government should also put into consideration for teachers with P1 Certificate to upgrade for Diploma programme with CBC skills.
“What will be the option for teachers, do they go for Teacher Training Colleges (TTCs) where they are not guaranteed of employment or do they go for the medical fields where they will be guaranteed employment?” asked Otieno.
However, Abdi stated that the entry requirements can only be reviewed by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) and as the Ministry they can just have a discussion with the commission.” The entry requirementsfor those wishing to enter the teaching service is the constitutional mandate of the TSC as the Ministry, that is something which is not within our purview,” stated Abdi.
Chairperson of Kenya Teachers College Principals Association (KTCPA), Saul Baraza who is also Principal at St. Paul Kibabii Diploma Teachers Training College said that they don’t have a problem with the requirements though he raised concern that Teacher Training Colleges (TTCs) may not get the right numbers as per the moment.
“We don’t have a problem on the entry requirements but the only challenge when it comes to operationalization is that it seems out there, there are few candidates with those grades as of now because, when students finish Form Four some of them don’t stay at home for a long time especially those who have done well in Mathematics and Sciences,” said Baraza.
According to Abdi, they are expecting very few numbers of those who qualify for the programme even after the re-advertisement since they targeted to place about 7,000 students in the 30 Public TTCs across the country.“I guess we can just have a few more hundreds but we cannot reach the figure that we want,” said Abdi.
The Ministry has re-advertised the admission into the Diploma programme which is expected to commence in May this year, after it emerged that few candidates qualified during the February-March advert. According to the new regulations, applicants for a Diploma in Primary Teacher Education (DPTE) should have a KCSE Mean Grade of C (Plain) or its equivalent with a C Plain in English, Kiswahili, Mathematics, and also a C in any of the Humanities subject and Sciences subjects.
However, for candidates with disabilities, the minimum entry grade is C- (Minus) and a C- (Minus) in the cluster of subjects stated above. Applicants for the Diploma in Early Childhood Teacher Education (DECTE) require a C (plain) Mean Grade in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education Examination (KCSE) or its equivalent (as equated by the Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC), with candidates with disabilities being admitted with a C- (minus) grade in KCSE or its equivalent.The duration of both courses shall be three years in accordance with the approved Curriculum designs.
For qualification, a candidate is being assessed in various areas by the Zonal Education Officer which includes academic qualifications and quality of certificates which have 12 and 60 marks respectively, co-curricular activities which carries a total of 8 marks and length of stay since Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) which was allocated a total of 20 marks. Mwingi Teachers Training
College director Julius Muinde Mutukaa appealed to the government to review the entry grades for the Diploma programme in teacher education. “The grade has been raised to C plain meaning those with D plus will be locked out. As if the grade is not enough, there is mandatory requirement for specific subjects. It might be hard and that’s why we are calling for review,” added Mutukaa. Next.