TSC move to scrap education degree strongly opposed
Thousands of university students aspiring to pursue teaching career are in for a huge shock after the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) moved to scrap the Bachelor of Education (B.Ed) programme in universities.
The scrap will take effect from September as per the proposals by the Teachers employer that includes far-reaching reforms touching on the training of teachers in universities and colleges.
In a report entitled “Framework on Entry Requirements in the Teaching Service,” TSC argues the case for reviewing the teacher training course at the university level to provide that aspiring teachers first undertake a 4-year bachelors’ degree course in either Arts or Sciences before undertaking a one-year post-graduate specializing in education.
The commission says that the progress would put the teaching profession at par with other disciplines such as law and medicine.
“For Bachelor of Education, the course takes four years without any requirement for attachment or internship. No requirement for annual renewal of registration” said TSC.
TSC contests that currently, the Bachelor of Education programme only takes 4 years unlike other elite courses such as Law, which takes four years and a further one-year professional training at Kenya School of Law.
The teachers’ employer recommends that the minimum qualifification for entry into teaching in Kenya at all levels be a Diploma in Education.
“Admission into all the diplomas and degrees in teacher education courses shall be demand-driven. The Diploma in Education courses for CBC students at each level shall be three years after senior school since they will have had time for specialization in the content areas,” TSC recommended.
But the proposal has already received opposition from lecturers, who termed the reforms as ill-informed. Universities Academic Staff Union
(Uasu) Kenyatta University Chapter yesterday accused TSC of making decisions without consultation and then sneaking in what they termed as unacceptable ideas to make the teaching profession look like an
Uasu-KU Chapter Vice Chairperson Wilfridah Itolondo led other officials from the institution in condemning the TSC document.
“The union will reject the document because what the TSC wants to do is to scrap Bachelor of Education program so that all students are just admitted for Bachelor of Arts or Science. It was done without consultation,” said Itolondo, in a press conference yesterday in Nairobi.
Uasu stated that a degree programme is unchangeable if not based on scientific research, adding that TSC should explain the problem with the programme at the moment.
“If there is something wrong with the programme, the best thing to do is to propose to improve it, not to scrap it. TSC is trying to sneak in the idea and that is wrong because you are making it look like becoming a teacher is an afterthought,” said Itolondo.
They also stated that TSC is trying to relate Bachelor of Education with other courses like Medicine or Law.
“When people go for Bachelor of Medicine, they start as doctors from the first year up to the end, you do not become a medic when you are in the fourth year, it is the same in Law or Architecture. Students are supposed to go with their line of the profession from the very beginning,” they said.
The lecturers said the practice was tried before but it did not work adding that the contention is that they were caught by surprise.
“TSC says they want to implement in September this year and that is why we have come out to resist that because already there are people out there with Bachelor of Arts degree and still unemployed,” Itolondo added.
TSC further recommends that there be a Postgraduate Diploma in Teacher Education to cater for Teacher Education learning areas, in preparing teacher educators who will be training the pre-service teachers at the Teacher.
FOLLOW US ON TWITTER