The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) has come out to explain the reason for making radical changes to the teachers’ training and qualifications.
According to the revised system, teachers’ requirement for those intending to teach in secondary schools will be at least a mean grade of C+ in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examination. The same grade should be recorded in the target teaching subjects.
For the diploma primary school teachers, the entry grade is C in KCSE exams and the same grade in the subjects one intends to teach.
Justifying the new policy, TSC Deputy Staffing Director, Antonina Lentojioni, said the new policy would ensure quality teaching.
“It is not a popular decision but it will ensure the right people join the profession,” Lentonjioni stated.
She added, “these people have the ability to learn the subject content and can easily get pedagogical skills.”
This new programme gives newly trained teachers a one-year contract to gain classroom experience before being fully absorbed by TSC into full-time practice.
“He or she gets a year of supervised teaching, is guided, and gets job support for better placement in the market. Experience is the best teacher,” Lentojioni noted.
“We are promoting practical experience that sharpens the skills, knowledge, and attitude of teachers. Schools will be receiving professionals that are not directly from college.”
The revised policy was institutionalized back in 2020 and so far 10,300 interns were posted to schools in 2020, with the figure shooting to 12,000 in 2021.
Apart from the introduction of the new policy, the TSC Deputy staffing director noted that in January 2022, a total of 6,000 new teachers will report to schools across the country.
She however decried that the number is not sufficient for the current Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC) system.
“For quality learning, teachers need to be in classrooms. The teacher shortage is growing but the commission is doing all it can to address this challenge,” Lentojioni stated.
So far TSC in collaboration with the ministry of education led by Cabinet Secretary Prof George Magoha has trained more than 229,000 primary school teachers for the new CBC system and 22,000 secondary instructors using school-based support system programmes in English, mathematics, and science.
But to assure a smooth transition, TSC noted that it is currently engaging the national government to get funds for hiring more teachers and interns to address the shortage.