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Training of diploma teachers starts in June

EDUCATION
By Augustine Oduor | May 22nd 2021
Education CS Prof. George Magoha advising Teacher Training Colleges(TTC) Principals on measures to take and management of institutions to control Covid-19 pandemic. [Wilberforce Okwiri]

Training of a fresh breed of diploma teachers is set to start after the government completed the selection process.

Under the new tuition regime, diploma will be the minimum training level for all primary school teachers as the government rolls out plans for quality teaching and learning.

The Saturday Standard has established that about 1,000 students have been selected to join six Teachers Training Colleges (TTCs) across the country as teacher education reforms kick-off to anchor the Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC).

Only TTCs of Machakos, Thogoto, Baringo, Egoji, Migori and Shanzu will receive students from June 2 to start their first term under the Diploma in Primary Teacher Education (DPTE).

Each college has been allocated 150-200 students for a start with more colleges expected to get students during the second intake in September. The students will start their first term of 14 weeks, which will be followed by the regular calendar of training.

Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha said intake will be done in two phases. This means candidates, who sat the 2020 KCSE, will have the opportunity to apply for the diploma teaching programme for September intake.

Short-listed students said the initial reporting date of May 24 has been pushed back to June 2.

“Some students will report on Monday next week while the rest will start in June,” said one of the shortlisted students.

The duration for the diploma training is three years.

It also emerged that plans are underway to upgrade the present P1 teachers already in service and those unemployed. Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) said last week that teacher education designs are ready for the diploma training.

KICD Director Charles Ongondo last week also stated that the P1 teachers will be given a chance, virtually and in-person to upgrade.

“We are developing a diploma programme for them and that may be school-based or virtually. But we shall communicate in good time,” Prof Ongondo said last week.

Big news

However, the big news is that plans are complete to roll out the much-awaited diploma teacher training across the country. Tutors, who will coach the first cohort of diploma teachers, have already been identified.

Applicants must have a KCSE Mean Grade of C (plain) with a C in English, Kiswahili, Mathematics and any of the humanities and sciences subjects. For candidates with disabilities, the minimum entry mean grade set is C- (minus) and a C- (minus) in the cluster of subjects.

The designs will guide trainers and trainees on how best to deliver quality learning and teaching in tandem with the requirements of the CBC, which focuses mainly on enlarging learners’ knowledge, experiences, imaginative understanding and development of moral values for life-long learning.

Prof Magoha said this category of teachers will be trained specifically on how to teach pupils under the CBC.

The development comes as complaints arose over the minimum qualifications of the students who are admitted to these colleges. Critics argued that the students should have been admitted with an aggregate grade of C (plain), regardless of the subject performances.

However, sources in the government said the new rules are meant to tighten quality started with the enhanced qualifications for the diploma intake.

Applicants for Diploma in Early Childhood Teacher Education (DECTE) were required to have a C (plain) mean grade.

“The idea here was to get a teacher who will teach mathematics is well-grounded in the subject area as opposed to cases where the teacher scored a D and goes ahead to teach the subject,” said a senior ministry official.

Education PS Dr Belio Kipsang at Moi Girl's High School Eldoret. [Christopher Kipsang, Standard]

The official familiar with the details said the reforms were informed by the revelation that some teachers entrusted with certain subjects had not done well in those areas.

“It has been challenging because teachers are expected to perform where they do not have content mastery. For example, we expect children to do well in maths but the teacher had a D+,” said the official.

The official said that those used to the old ways of doing things and are slow at adapting to change have been opposing the move.

“The reforms need to be embraced and even if we had few students, they will be quality ones, who upon graduation will deliver the expected outcomes.”

The curriculum has been reformed with five core learning areas approved. They are professional courses, teacher support courses, English, Kiswahili or KSL for trainees who have hearing impairment and physical and health education.

“Teacher Training Colleges will ensure that the teacher trainee receives appropriate training and professional development, which will accord them an opportunity to engage in research,” said former Education PS Belio Kipsang.

 

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