Proposal Underway to Hike University Fees by 200%

TVET Graduates to Handle Pre-Tech Subjects in Junior Secondary

The presidential working part on educational reforms advised that the diploma holders from technical and vocational education training (TVET) institutions be hired to teach pre-tech subjects in junior secondary schools.  However, this proposal might rub teacher unions and other stakeholders the wrong way. There are few trained teachers for these subjects and an earlier plan by TSC was to retool secondary school teachers who have combinations in mathematics, physics and home science to teach them.

Pre-tech subjects include woodwork, metalwork, technical drawing, electricity, electronics, home management, typewriting, shorthand, textile and clothing, auto-mechanics and accounting.

The President is said to have been against dropping the pre-tech subjects as this lays a basis for TVET, an area key to Kenya Kwanza. By hiring TVET diploma holders to teach the subjects, the government would also be extending employment opportunities to jobless ‘hustlers’.

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“That can be done, but the teachers should be taken through a diploma course in education to learn pedagogical skills and teaching ethics; otherwise, it could create a huge problem of untrained teachers,” another member of the team said.

Under JSS, the core subjects will be English, Kiswahili or Kenya Sign Language, mathematics, integrated science, home science, pre-tech and pre-career education, social studies, religious education, business studies, agriculture, life skills and sports and physical education.

The learners are also expected to choose either one or two optional subjects from visual arts, performing arts, home science, computer science, and a foreign language (German, French, Mandarin, Arabic, Kenya Sign Language or Indigenous language), which is another headache for the government. Only a few secondary schools, mostly national and extra-county, have teachers for the subjects.

The other huge costs the government will incur will be the construction of the extra classrooms as suggested by the working party. During the project to expand infrastructure by the previous administration, a classroom was built at a cost of Sh877,000.

According to Kepssha chair Johnson Nzioka, as a stop-gap measure, the government should consider mobile laboratories from the School Equipment Production Unit (Sepu) instead of permanent units.

“A simple affordable mobile laboratory from Sepu is available at a cost of Sh200,000, while a simple set of all laboratory equipment needed is available from Sepu at Sh74,000 per set,” he said during his presentation to the PWPER.

However, parents will still be required to be involved in the learning of their children, despite complaints that the CBC homework is too demanding and takes so much of their time while some find it challenging.

Dr Ruto on Friday maintained that parents must find time to be with their children and be part of their learning process.

“I want to suggest, respectfully, that as parents, me included… I have pressure from my own daughter every evening, asking me to assist in this or that assignment. I want to ask all parents that as parents, we must know that the education of our children is not the entire responsibility of teachers; it is ours as well. I want to ask all parents, starting with myself, that we must dedicate time every day to follow up on the education of our children,” he said.

The parental engagement pillar is one of the features that were introduced in the CBC and which many parents have complained about. “In the past, parents had very little to do with the education of their children. CBC has recruited parents to the middle of the education of their children and I think it is a progressive development for us to be engaged in the education of our children,” the President said.

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