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D+ Requirement In Maths To Become A Teacher Lifted: KUCCPS

From this year, Mathematics will cease to be a mandatory requirement for university admission for students planning to pursue a teaching degree.

From the outcomes of yesterday’s meeting, teachers not planning to teach maths upon graduation will not be locked out of education training courses for failing maths in high school.

Additionally, teachers who will teach nursery schools will also not be required to have passed mathematics to pursue diploma and degree teaching courses.

For agriculture-based courses, where students are currently required to have C+ in Biology and Chemistry, they will now be required to have a C (plain) in both subjects. Agriculture subject, with a C+ score, has also been introduced as an alternative to the C plain in Biology.

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These reviews were done during during a stakeholders’ validation forum of placement criteria for degree programmes convened by the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (KUCCPS).

The meeting that brought together vice-chancellors, professional bodies and Ministry of Education officials agreed that only students who need mathematics as a core theme should have the subject as a mandatory requirement.

This implies that those training to teach subjects in secondary schools, which are not related to mathematics, will not be required to have scored a certain grade in the subject to gain admission.

The decision was arrived at after it emerged that many students wishing to pursue a bachelor of education (arts) have been locked out by the D+ mandatory requirement in mathematics.

The Teachers Service Commission’s (TSC) insists that those wishing to pursue a diploma in teaching must have a minimum grade C (plain) in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exam, at least a C+ in the two subjects specialization and at least C (plain) in English, C (plain) in mathematics for science-based courses and a D+ (plus) in mathematics in non-science based courses.

And for the bachelor of education (arts), TSC says students must score a minimum mean grade of C+ or its equivalent and C+ in two subjects of specialization.

KUCCPS Chief Executive Officer Mercy Wahome yesterday confirmed that  the requirement was introduced in 2017, following a similar stakeholders’ meeting, a move that has kept off many students from pursuing education courses.

“We did that for uniformity and to harmonise the qualification requirements. But the same stakeholders have now said we stick to TSC regulations, which do not make any reference to mathematics,” said Wahome.

The stakeholders’ meeting advised that KUCCPS uses guidelines presented by the teachers’ employer on academic and professional requirements.

Vice-chancellors, who spoke yesterday, said they do not wish to train teachers who would not be employed by TSC, and advised that admission requirements be based on the employer’s regulations.

Even though the development is a major reprieve for students seeking to pursue bachelor degree courses in teaching, the bar will remain high for those undertaking diploma courses.

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