Why Current Unemployed P1 Teachers May Remain Unemployed Forever
Current unemployed P1 teachers and p1 teacher trainees may not get employed by TSC in future. With the government’s plan to replace P1 certificate with diploma in primary teacher education (DPTE) certificate.
In May 2021, teacher training colleges are set to begin diploma-level training tailored for competency-based curriculum (CBC). Diploma in primary teacher education (DPTE) will be the minimum qualification to teach in primary schools.
The government had planned to roll out the new programme in all teacher training colleges in January 2021but postponed it to May since Covid-19 pandemic disrupted the education calendar.
The last batch of P1 teacher trainees are set to complete training in March, and Teacher Training Colleges have already started recruiting the first cohort of the diploma trainees.
The new group of student teachers for primary schools will go through a three-year programme. The diploma teachers will therefore stand a higher chance of securing employment immediately after graduating as they will not be required to go through the CBC in-service training conducted by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC), in conjunction with the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD).
This places the currently unemployed P1 teachers and those graduating in April at a disadvantage since they will not be able to compete with the diploma trained teachers during interviews. Diploma qualifications will automatically score higher marks than the certificate.
DPTE will ensure that teachers are equipped with CBC skills right from college.The minimum entry grade for DPTE will be C plain in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education examination (KCSE) or its equivalent as equated by the Kenya National Examinations Council (Knec).
“The duration for the diploma training shall be three years, according to the approved curriculum designs,” read the requirements.
The diploma teachers’ trainees will only specialise in three subject areas, in which they must have attained a minimum KCSE grade of C (Plain).
The areas for specialisation have been grouped into four clusters, but teachers will only pick one subject per category for specialty.
Candidates shall specialise from the first year in at least three learning areas preferably from any one of the four clusters.
According to the curriculum designs, Cluster One subjects are Kenya Sign Language, Indigenous Languages, Foreign Languages (German, French, Arabic and Mandarin (Chinese).
Cluster Two subjects are Mathematics, Home Science, Agriculture and Science and Technology, while Cluster Three has Social Studies, Religious Education (CRE, HRE, IRE).
Teachers who choose Cluster Four subjects will specialise in Art and Craft and Music.
All trainees will be required to study English, Kiswahili, Physical and Health Education and Kenya Sign Language for the hearing impaired, which are now mandatory subjects.They are aimed at building on knowledge, skills, and attitudes for effective lesson delivery.
“Those who will be approved to teach in schools will have completed the required hours for coursework and passed the stipulated assessment as directed by Knec,” reads the requirements.
The trainee teachers will also be required to have completed the required hours for the practicum and passed the stipulated assessment.
They will also be required to go on a three-month micro-teaching exercise undertaken as a course and will be a pre-requisite for teaching practice.
Upon completion of the course, the teachers will need to be registered by TSC for them to be allowed to teach in primary schools across the country.