Many teacher training colleges that used to offer Primary Teacher Education Certificate (commonly known as P1) will be driven out of business if they do not comply with new rules introduced by the Ministry of Education.
The regulations have been introduced after the phasing out of the P1 course and transition to Diploma in Primary Teacher Education (DPTE) as the minimum qualification to teach in primary schools. This is meant to improve the quality of teaching in primary schools. According to the Teachers Service Commission, Sh1.8 billion has been spent so far to train teachers for the competency based curriculum (CBC).
A task force report on the implementation of the CBC released last week recommended that universities also re-evaluate their teacher education programmes to align then to the CBC. Lecturers will also be retooled to fit into the CBC approach.
The ministry has therefore ordered that all TTCs be registered afresh to reflect their new status. Only 41 TTCs have been authorised to offer the DPTE. The move might lock out some private colleges if they are deemed not fit to offer DPTE.
In a circular to county directors of education signed by HS Abdi, on behalf of principal secretary Belio Kipsang, the new registration is supposed to begin immediately.
“This is therefore to convey to you the approval of the cabinet secretary for the re-registration of colleges and for the exercise to commence forthwith. It is also directed that this exercise be concluded and colleges issued with registration certificates on or before February 28 2021,” the circular reads.
According to the regulations, the colleges are expected to offer the training at their premises unlike previously when they used to organise for trainees to attend lessons in schools during the holidays. Many teachers who initially graduated with the P1 certificate enrol for DPTE to enhance their chances at career progression.
“It is also directed that all training of teachers for Diploma in Primary Teacher Education and Early Childhood Education will be concluded in registered public/private colleges and not any other venue,” the circular.
The last P1 cohort sat their examinations in November last year but there was confusion after the Kenya national Examinations Council recalled results after an error was detected indicated unusually high grades. The error affected English and mathematics but the corrected results were released on Tuesday last week.
The DPTE admission will take place in May. Unlike the PTE where teacher trainees took all subjects, in the diploma course, they will specialise in their area of interest and qualifications.
This will be crucial especially in preparing learners to identify their strengths and selection of the pathways to pursue in senior secondary. The three pathways in CBC are arts and sports science, social sciences, and science technical engineering and mathematics (STEM).
Their placement in the colleges will be through the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service. There are currently no students in the colleges.