Headteachers Walk Out Of Conference as TSC Decline To Lower Qualification Grades For Teachers
Despite mounting criticism, the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) said yesterday that it would not lower the qualification grades for candidates seeking teaching careers in primary and secondary schools.
TSC stated that teachers who did not achieve a mean grade of C+ in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exam will not be allowed to teach in secondary schools, even if they later obtained a degree.
Meanwhile, all secondary school teachers would be restricted to teaching subjects for which they received a C+ or higher in the KCSE.
This is also true for primary school teachers, who would only be permitted to teach subjects in which they received a C or higher on their KCSE exam. According to TSC, this will improve the quality of education in Kenya.
TSC Deputy Director of Staffing Antonia Lentoijoni told teachers in Mombasa that, while the qualification requirements were unpopular with teachers, they would improve standards.
When Lentoijoni insisted that TSC would not negotiate on the requirements, several headteachers walked out of the conference in protest.
She stated that the Commission raised the bar to improve educational quality in response to new societal challenges.
“The Teachers Service Commission has raised the entry point of teaching in the country to have the right kind of people to offer quality education to our children,” said Lentoijoni.
Despite a suggestion by Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) Secretary-General Collins Oyuu that teachers in primary school be allowed to teach Grades 7 and 8 in junior secondary school because several of them have masters degrees, the decision now bars teachers who scored C- or C and have degrees from teaching in secondary school.
However, the TSC insisted that any teacher who wants to teach in secondary school must now have a C+ or higher, leaving those who obtained their degrees through diploma certificates in a dilemma.
Teachers with TSC-approved qualifications, according to Lentoijoni, are the right kind of people to ensure quality education for children.
“These are the people with the ability to offer quality education for our children,” she said.
Lentoijoni stated that the commission has trained 28,000 teachers in the last few years to address the teacher shortage.
She stated that Kenyan children deserved quality education, which is why the commission needed to raise the bar.
Letoijoni, who thanked the government for its continued response to the country’s teacher shortage, expressed happiness that there was at least some relief from the shortage.
She stated that TSC had now begun a new system of teacher recruitment by first engaging those who wanted to be teachers as interns who were then assigned to experienced teachers for mentorship.
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“We will lobby for more money to recruit more teachers,” she said.
Lentoijoni praised the teachers for their dedication to their jobs and agreed with Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha that teachers attend classes without being observed.