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Revealed: How teachers will be skilled to teach your child under CBC

By Augustine Oduor | February 20th 2021 at 00:00:00 GMT +0300

Dorcas Odonya takes Grade Three pupils at Central Primary School in Kisumu through a physical education lesson in January last year. [Denish Ochieng', Standard]

Details have now emerged on how teachers will be trained and prepared to help children acquire the right competencies under the new education curriculum.

The Saturday Standard has established that five core learning areas have been approved under the new Diploma in Primary Teacher Education (DPTE) training, a major change in delivery of the curriculum.

These are professional courses, teacher-support courses, English, Kiswahili or Kenya Sign Language for trainees who are hearing impaired, and physical and health education, according to the Curriculum Designs for Diploma in Primary Teacher Education.

These designs will guide trainers and trainees on how best to deliver quality teaching in line with the requirements of the competency-based curriculum (CBC). The CBC focuses majorly on enlarging learners’ knowledge, experiences and imaginative understanding as well as the development of moral values for life-long learning.

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Under the new teacher-training plan, a diploma will be the minimum training level for all primary school teachers to achieve quality teaching and learning. The training schedule shall be three years.

The entry requirements shall be a 'C' grade in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education examination, or its equivalent as determined by the Kenya National Examinations Council.

Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha said the first group of diploma teachers will be admitted to various colleges in May, marking an end to the certificate training programme. The ministry has already ordered fresh registration of teacher training colleges (TTCs) after it suspended admission to P1 training classes.

“TTCs will ensure that the teacher-trainee receives appropriate training and professional development, which will accord them an opportunity to engage in research,” reads a ministry document.

The approved curriculum designs reveal that micro-teaching and practicum in teacher education have been given prominence in order to enhance experiential and reflective learning with support from experienced teachers as mentors.

The document says that all trainees will be taken through the micro-teaching process for three months before proceeding for another two terms (six months) of practicum.

The one-term session is meant to give the trainees thorough practice before meeting and interacting with learners in a class. Coaching and community practice have also been embedded in the micro-teaching and practicum.

Grade Three pupils at Bidii Primary school in Nairobi. [Stafford Ondego, Standard]

Details show that the curriculum has been designed with emphasis on experiential and reflective learning to develop appropriate pedagogical content knowledge; hence the emphasis on integrated content and pedagogy for the student teachers while at college.

“This is to ensure that the teacher-trainee is given adequate time to practice how to facilitate the pupils’ learning of the different strands prescribed in the curriculum designs,” reads document.

Under the new training regime, it is envisaged that the teacher-trainer will guide the teacher-trainee appropriately to embrace the shift from the objective-based learning to the CBC, which is hinged on use of learner-centred methodologies for realisation of expected outcomes.

The designs have been organised into seven volumes of professional courses, teacher-support courses, sciences, humanities, creative arts, languages and foreign languages.

Under professional courses, child development and psychology, history of education, sociology of education, curriculum studies, comparative education, inclusive education, and competency-based assessment and instructional leadership and management will be covered.

Pertinent issues

Communication skills, development and utilisation of learning resources, ICT integration in learning, pertinent and contemporary issues, value-based education, parental empowerment and engagement, community service learning, action research and micro-teaching, and health and nutrition will fall under teacher-support courses.

Mathematics, science and technology, agriculture and home science will fall under sciences whereas social studies, Christian religious education, Islamic religious education and Hindu religious education are listed under humanities.

Creative arts will include physical and health education, music, art and craft while English, Kiswahili and indigenous languages will fall under languages.

German, French, Mandarin and Arabic are listed under foreign languages.

Unlike previously when content was taught separately from methodology, trainees in the diploma course will be taken through an integrated concept of content and pedagogy.

For example, in an English lesson, a trainee will be first taken through pronunciation before the concept is transferred to actual teaching where they are guided on how to deliver the content in a class session. 

At the end of the training, a teacher should be able to develop and assess the educational competencies required of a learner.

Further details reveal that teacher-trainees will only specialise in three subject areas. They will have to have attained a minimum KCSE Grade of 'C' in the learning areas they wish to focus on.

The areas for specialisation have been grouped into four clusters, but teachers will only pick one subject in each category.

Kenya Sign Language, indigenous languages, foreign languages (German, French, Arabic and Mandarin (Chinese) fall under the first cluster.

Mathematics, home science, agriculture, science and technology are cluster two subjects, while social studies, religious education (CRE, HRE, IRE) are listed under cluster three. Cluster four subjects are art and craft, and music.

"Candidates shall specialise from the first year in at least three learning areas preferably from any one of the three clusters,” read the curriculum designs.

Subjects such as English, Kiswahili, and physical health education will be mandatory, but not necessarily specialties. 

The three mandatory learning areas will build on the knowledge, skills and attitudes of young teachers 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 the Knec. Trainees will also be needed to have completed the required hours for the practicum.

“If the student fails to meet the requirements for award of the Diploma in Primary Teacher Education, he or she will be allowed to repeat the specific component or learning area failed,” reads the document.

There shall be three months of micro-teaching undertaken as a course, and it will be a prerequisite for teaching practice. During this period, teacher-trainees will prepare learning and teaching materials and short lessons, which they will try on their peers for practice and feedback.

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