Higher grades to train as a teacher, specialisation in specific subjects and regular transfers are among reforms the Government is considering.
The latest bold steps by the Ministry of Education that are likely to unsettle teachers’ unions also include mandatory continuous professional training to qualify for promotions.
These are part of far-reaching reforms for efficient and cost-effective utilisation of teachers, which will also include regular review and establishment of appropriate staffing norms.
They are also designed to make the teaching profession more professional and rewarding.
Teachers' unions have already rejected the new Teachers Service Commission (TSC) rationalisation policy that seeks to evenly distribute teachers countrywide through transfers.
The policy, popularly known as delocalisation, according to the teachers' employer, is part of the Government's determination to enhance national cohesion and bolstering of professionalism and commitment in the teaching profession.
The ministry also seeks to review the current teacher training programmes with a view to establishing diploma level as the minimum qualification for teachers.
The Pre-service Teacher Education Framework, prepared by Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD), has already proposed that the minimum teacher training level be raised to diploma.
“All teacher education shall take place at diploma level for a duration of two years and the minimum entry level shall be Grade C plain at Senior School or its equivalent,” reads the KICD proposal.
If adopted, the new proposals also seek to ensure all teachers specialise in various subject areas and train for those specific learning levels.
In addition, the policy document also seeks to institutionalise teacher performance appraisal system that has received strong resistance from Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut).
The appraisal tools are now part of the contentious sector items listed for mediation at the Ministry of Labour, between TSC and Knut.
The reforms details are contained in a Sessional Paper dubbed ‘Reforming Education and Training for Sustainable Development’ set to be tabled in Parliament.