The new qualification requirements for admission into teacher training colleges (TTC’s) have locked out thousands of Form 4 leavers.
This will be a huge blow to the implementation of the competency-based curriculum (CBC) as only a few candidates are eligible for admission. Thousands of candidates who had applied for diploma training in primary and early childhood development education (ECDE) did not meet the grade set in February while those who passed will merely fill the available vacancies in both public and private TTCs.
What Are The Qualifications?
Candidates must have a mean grade of C (plain) in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exam, a C in mathematics, English, Kiswahili, one science, and one humanity to adjust to the pre-service teacher training to the demands of CBC.
The certificate in teacher education (P1) will be phased out, with the last group having graduated in December 2020. The trainees are set to report to 32 public colleges on the 3rd of May for a 3-year course.
A total of 200 registered private teacher training colleges are in Kenya, according to the Kenya Economic Survey. Stakeholders have expressed their fears that the bar has been set too high with sub-county directors of education managing the recruitment, having up to Friday last week to file their returns.
Calls for review
In some sub-counties, none of the applicants was qualified, with some stakeholders calling for a review of the criteria. Only 3 applicants in Lamu County qualified, one from Lamu East, two from Lamu West, and none from Lamu Central according to the County Director of Education Joshua Kaaga
In the Tindiret sub-county, none met the criteria among the 53 applicants while Turkana South and Turkana East sub-counties did not register any candidates.
In Tiaty West, all the 20 applicants who submitted their applications in Chemolingot failed to qualify.
“It was a big challenge for us to get qualified applicants in Lamu. All the three are males,” said Mr. Kaaga.
Zero qualified applicants
By Friday evening, some sub-counties in Kilifi County did not have a single qualified applicant. In one sub-county, all the 45 were unqualified. A majority had low grades in the cluster subjects despite having the required mean Grade of C (plain).
In Kwale, only 30 applicants were successful. Kwale has a new TTC that will begin training in May, with a capacity of 200.
“We compiled the names and forwarded them to the ministry even though the number was too low. You may find that a student had good grades in all other subjects but had a C- (minus) in mathematics. This disqualified them,” said the county director of education, Mr. Martin Cheruiyot.
Slow absorption of trained teachers into employment has been blamed as one of the reasons why most people shied away, opting for technical courses.
“The backlog in absorbing earlier trained teachers could be a reason some people do not want to enroll. They have seen how other graduates are tired of waiting for up to five years to get employed,” said Mr. Cheruiyot.
Only 25 out of 388 applicants in Nandi County qualified while in Turkana County, nine applicants were successful. Turkana county director of education, Mr. Peter Magiri, said the new requirements barred many potential teachers.
24 applicants were successful in Bungoma. Low grades in mathematics and science were the main challenge according to the County Director of Education Philip Chirchi.
In Uasin Gishu, County Director of Education Gitonga Mbaka said by Thursday, only 16 applicants had qualified.
“The turnout was good but very few qualified due to strict minimum academic qualifications requirement for mathematics and sciences. On Tuesday, there was no single female candidate who qualified from Turbo Sub-County,” Mr. Mbaka told the Nation.
Only 19 applicants met the set standards in Baringo County according to the county’s director of education, Mr. Mwasaru Mwashegwa.
“We do not have the number of the total applicants because only those who qualified were required to fill the forms. In the entire region, only 19 met the requirements,” said Mr. Mwashegwa.
Makueni County had 81 qualified applicants. In the Western region, only 67 people qualified in all 4 counties, while in Migori County, where 204 candidates applied, only 18 were successful. It was worse in the ECDE category, which had only six applicants.
Homa Bay County Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) Executive Secretary Mr. Patrick Were said there should be a review of the qualifications.
“Why must the government introduce requirements which are unnecessary for teaching? Students should have a C plain in either English or Kiswahili, not in both subjects,” said Mr. Were.
2,037: Diploma teacher trainees in 2019
31,737: Enrolment of in TTCs in 2019.
11,111: Enrolment of P1 teachers in 2019 in public TTCs and 18,589 in private colleges