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Secondary school teachers to teach three teaching subjects

All secondary school teachers in Kenya will be forced to teach a third subject on top of the two teaching subjects they are currently teaching. This follows the proposal by the teachers’ service commission, TSC to scrap education degree.

If the proposal goes through, all currently employed high school teachers and unemployed graduate teachers will have to pursue a mandatory post training course, which will last 9 months. It is expected that alongside the course units for the additional course, pedagogical approaches to the three teaching subjects will be handled. Teachers therefore have to get a third subject which they will train to teach in the competency based curriculum, alongside the two current ones.

What is not clear is whether current teachers and teacher graduates who scored below B- in any of the three teaching subjects will be allowed to teach senior secondary schools. The conditions for recruitment as a teacher for senior secondary schools, according to the proposal in the policy document, framework for entry in the teaching service, are;

  1. A three year Bachelor of Arts or science degree, followed by a one year post graduate diploma in education.
  2. KCSE mean grade of C plus or its equivalent
  3. B minus in the three teaching subjects

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So the major worry is whether the affected teachers will remain in senior secondary schools or will be demoted to junior secondarys schools, despite their higher qualifications. Currently, TSC insists on C+ in the teaching subjects. In as much as most teachers must have scored C+ and above in the two teaching subjects they are currently handling or about to start handling, getting a third subject will be a very hard task for teachers since either the B- qualification factor will lock them out, or the relationship between the third subject and the current two subjects will be hard to trace. For instance, a biology and chemistry teacher who did only two sciences in high school and probably scored below B- in mathematics, will have languages and humanities as the only options for the third subject. Logically, there is no relationship between sciences and humanities and this might give the teacher a very hard time with the weird combination.  Furthermore, its long since teachers interacted with that third subject and they will need subject matter knowledge more than the pedagogical knowledge that they are expected to receive during the nine months’ training.

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