Jobless primary school and early childhood education teachers started joining colleges yesterday for a one-year diploma programme to prepare them for the new curriculum.
The Education ministry wants the trainees, the majority P1 certificate holders, to align with the Competency Based Curriculum (CBC) being rolled out.
More than 30 teacher training colleges had remained without students since January and the programme will breathe new life into some of them.
The last P1 certificate trainees completed their studies in December last year while the first diploma in primary teacher education (DPTE) cohort joined in June.
But the DPTE class could not attract enough students to fill the colleges. The 400 who qualified were distributed to only five selected colleges– Thogoto, Machakos, Igoji, Baringo and Migori.
Basic Education Principal Secretary Julius Jwan said the skills upgrading scheme targets serving teachers under the Teachers Service Commission (TSC), county governments and private primary schools.
“The teachers will be required to undergo the one-year upgrade programme,” he said. Some 150,000 trained teachers work for private schools while thousands others are under county governments.
More than 220,000 unemployed trained teachers are targeted under the one-year skills upgrading programme.
For Form Four leavers to qualify for DPTE, they must have scored at least a C-plain in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education examination (KCSE) or its equivalent as determined by the Kenya National Examinations Council (Knec).
Students must also have at least a C-plain for all the cluster subjects.
Diploma trainees will only specialise in three subjects in the learning areas they wish to focus on.
The areas of specialisation are grouped into four clusters, but teachers will only pick one subject from each category.
Under the curriculum designs, cluster one subjects are Kenya Sign Language, Indigenous Languages, Foreign Languages (German, French, Arabic and Mandarin (Chinese).
Cluster two subjects are mathematics, home science, agriculture, and science and technology, while cluster three subjects are social studies, and religious education (Christian, Hindu, Islam).
Teachers who choose cluster four subjects will specialize in art and craft, and music Mandatory subjects include English, Kiswahili, physical and health education, and Kenya Sign Language for the hearing-impaired Last month, 1,166 teacher training college (TTC) tutors in public and private institutions were trained on CBC.