State stops admission to teachers’ colleges

Kuppet National Chairman Omboko Milemba has protested the ban, saying adequate consultations should be undertaken. [Denish Ochieng, Standard]

Job cuts loom in Teacher Training Colleges (TTCs) as the Government stops further admission of students to certificate courses.

More than 20,000 slots will fall vacant across all primary teacher-training colleges as the Government halts admission this year.

Of these, 13,000 students would have been admitted this year in the existing 31 public training colleges and another 3,000 across the newly-established institutions.

Private colleges have about 4,000 spaces available for students across 85 institutions.

Principals of the public TTC’s who spoke yesterday, said that jobs for some 2, 480 teaching staff and another 1, 843 support staff hangs in the balance as the Government plans admission.

“The colleges run purely based on students’ fees and without one class, it will be hard to run the colleges. We shall be running empty classes and facilities shall be idle for two years,” said a principal in one of the public colleges.

It emerged that no communication has been made to the colleges even as Ministry officials made it clear that no further admissions shall take place.

Ministry of Education announced that there will be no admissions to P1 training classes this year, saying the move is aimed at making arrangements to take in diploma students next year.

Sources in government hinted to The Standard that the delay in admitting diploma students is a result of lack of curriculum for the diploma teachers training.

Basic Education Principal Secretary Belio Kipsang told MPs last week that the ministry stopped the certificates admissions to allow diploma students join the colleges for training next year.

Kipsang told MPs the move will enable the ministry prepare accordingly for the ongoing national roll-out of the Competency-Based Curriculum.

He said that as the Government rolls out the new curriculum, teacher training must also be reformed to match the expectation.

But yesterday, the principals of colleges said they will retrench some staff as financial crisis bites institutions.

They said the Government should consider admitting diploma students using a draft curriculum, which can be improved over time.

The principals also proposed that total ban on certificate training should be reversed, saying that the country still needs the lower cadre trained staff.

The freeze in admissions means that the TTCs will run for nearly two years with just one cohort of students — the current second year students who were admitted in 2018.

Vacancies in TTCs are normally advertised in April and selections undertaken in September.

Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) yesterday protested the ban, saying adequate consultations should be undertaken.

“We have been made aware of a secret Government ban on admissions into TTCs. However, no advertisements have been made this year, and colleges are in the dark as to when the advertisements might be done this year, if they are done at all,” sad Omboko Milemba, Kuppet national chairman.

Milemba, who is also a member of the National Assembly Education Committee, said the principals petitioned his office over the matter.

Designs developed

Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) Chief Executive Officer Jwan Julius, said Basic Education Curriculum framework had been developed, scope and sequence done and designs developed. “We are now editing the designs,” said Jwan.

It emerged that the freeze on intake is meant to allow the KICD complete the editing of the design as TSC trains the tutors who will teach the diploma students.

The time will also allow the Ministry to prepare infrastructure in the TTCs ahead of admissions.