Upskill or Remain Irrelevant, Teachers Told
Teachers need to constantly upskill to move with the changing times, a teachers’ conference heard on Tuesday.
Dr Ciriaka Gitonga, the chairperson of Deans of Education Forum of Kenyan Universities, said this upskilling should be as interactive as possible to expose teachers to different environments.
“Principals have to be central in this programme,” Gitonga said.
She spoke at the 46th Kenya Secondary School Heads Association annual national conference at Sheikh Zayed Hall in Mombasa.
She said principals must embrace teacher management.
Moi Girls Marsabit principal Halima Adan said technology is gradually becoming a key aspect in the education sector, despite human beings being naturally resistant to change.
“Teacher education reforms is an interactive process that requires all stakeholders to be ready for change,” Adan said.
International Confederation of Principals president Peter Kent from England said for the education sector to work best, the judgement of teachers and school leaders must be trusted.
“Students must also be involved in the development of curricular. After all, they are the recipients. They are better placed to give opinion and feedback,” Kent said.
Kessha chairman Indimuli Kahi said one of the most discouraging issues in Kenya is the lack of trust of teachers and their judgement.
“Sometimes principals are not trusted and sometimes teachers are not trusted,” Kahi said.
“For the education sector to succeed, trust the judgement of teachers and school leaders.”
Kenyatta University vice chancellor Prof Paul Wainaina said the quality of education is very much determined by the quality of teachers.
He said the practical aspects of teacher training needs to be reinforced to ensure universities churn out quality teachers.
“I ask the principals to help our teachers on practice by getting them good mentors who can give them the nitty-gritty that they cannot get at the university,” Wainaina said.
The VC said there is need for cooperation between teachers, principals, school managers and other stakeholders.
Kent emphasised the need to work together insisting that more is gained through interaction than any other method.
“In the ICP, there is renewed emphasis on teacher development,” he said.
He said no system around the world that does not change.
“Teachers then need the most up-to-date training,” he said.
Artificial Intelligence, he said, is gradually taking centre stage in the education sector and warned that in the next 10 years, it could change the sector for the better or for the worse depending on how it is used.