All secondary school teachers will have to undertake a one-year mandatory post-graduate diploma in teaching before they can be licenced to teach.
According to the new proposals outlined by Teachers Service Commission (TSC), all university graduates interested in teaching will have to procure a post-graduate diploma in education.
A perusal through the policy document by TSC titled, Framework for Entry in the Teaching Service, training for teachers at the university, as we know it, will change drastically.
This follows revelations that the teachers' employer has embarked on a transformative agenda, which will see the framework for entry in the teaching service revised.
“All the 8-4-4 and Competency Based Curriculum (CBC) students must undertake first, Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science courses for a period of three years majoring on the key subjects and, thereafter, undertake a Postgraduate Diploma in Education for a period of one year for teaching at junior and senior school and SNE (Special Needs Education),” the document stipulates.
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The document, prepared by the Director for Quality Assurance and Standards at the TSC, Dr Reuben Nthamburi, points to a possible plan by the teachers' employer to encourage specialisation.
"Diploma in Education courses for CBC students at each level shall be three years after 8-4-4 and senior school since they will have had time for specialisation in the content areas,” the document reads.
“There is need to have pathways for teacher education at Diploma level (ECDE, Junior and Senior Secondary, SNE).”
Other recommendations are that the minimum qualification for entry into teaching in Kenya at all levels be a diploma in Education.
At the same time, admission into all diplomas and degrees in teacher education courses shall be ''demand-driven'', meaning the number of teachers graduating each year will be controlled.
TSC is also proposing that teachers will have to choose whether to teach in ECDE, junior and senior secondary.
"That there is a diploma in secondary education which will cater for defined learning areas/subjects required in junior and senior secondary level which have shortages."
Yesterday, the Universities' Academic Staff Union (UASU) expressed dissatisfaction with the contents of the document.
“They want to erase the Bachelors of Education programme so that all students just enroll for either Bachelor of Arts or of Science. When they graduate and one is interested in teaching, he or she must return for a postgraduate diploma in education,” said Dr Wilfridah Itolondo, Kenyatta University UASU chapter vice-chairperson.
University lecturers feel this could be a plan to cleverly implement recommendations by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on cutting budgets and expenditure in some state corporations, which may involve freezing of new employment or pushing for retrenchments as the qualification for a Sh257 billion loan to Kenya.
They claim that this move will push thousands of trainers in the faculty of education out of employment.
“ In fact, according to us, it might just be one of the measures being taken to address the IMF report,” claimed Dr Itolondo.
The lecturers through their union have vowed to resist any structural changes without involving them.
Kenyatta University UASU chapter secretary, Dr George Lukoye, said whereas they are not opposed to any reforms, they are only demanding to be involved as key stakeholders.
“It is no secret that Kenyatta University is facing high financial risks. These financial risks may have been exacerbated by the Covid-19. The union looks forward to the IMF and the relevant government agencies to carry out a thorough and in-depth forensic audit to ascertain how the university found itself in this financial crisis,” said Dr Lukoye
While approving the Sh257 billion loan to Kenya, IMF listed three top public universities among the nine State-Owned Enterprises (SOE) earmarked for reforms.
Even though the report did not name the specific universities, the three largest public universities are the University of Nairobi, Kenyatta University and Moi University.
The three universities are estimated to have a combined workforce of over 10,000 employees. The University of Nairobi has the largest wage bill of about Sh8 billion, followed by Kenyatta at about Sh5 billion and Moi at nearly Sh4 billion.
"For several SOEs (State Owned Enterprises), the Covid-19 shock exacerbated pre-existing underlying financial weaknesses. For example, public universities have been registering persistent losses for an extended period," the IMF report on Kenya, published on April 21 stated.
Some of the recommendations
•All the 8-4-4 and CBC students must undertake first the Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science Courses for a period 3 years majoring on the key subjects and then do a Postgraduate Diploma in Education for a period of one year
•To sensitize University Deans, School of Education and Chief Principals of Diploma Teacher Training Colleges on the Teacher Education Framework on the Requirements for Entry into the Teaching Service