The Kenyan government has introduced significant changes to the entry requirements for aspiring educators seeking admission to teacher training colleges (TTCs). This pivotal modification marks a departure from the previously established norms, reflecting the nation’s steadfast commitment to education transformation.
Previously, students aspiring to enroll in primary school teacher training were mandated to attain a C (Plain) grade in critical subjects such as mathematics, English, and Kiswahili. Additionally, they were required to secure a C in both a science and humanities subject to be deemed eligible for admission.
The recent paradigm shift, orchestrated by the Presidential Working Party on Education Reforms (PWPER), has ushered in a new era in teacher preparation. Under the revised requirements, prospective TTC students must achieve an average grade of C (Plain), unshackled from the clusters of mathematics, English, or Kiswahili. Conversely, individuals aspiring to become secondary school educators must surpass the benchmark with a C plain, bolstered by a triumphant C plus in two distinct subjects.
The Kenya Teachers Colleges Principals’ Association (KTCPA) has voiced its support for these transformative changes. The association has called upon the Ministry of Education to promptly dispatch circulars to TTCs, facilitating their adoption of the revised entry prerequisites.
Chairman of KTCPA, Paul Barasa, underscored the significance of the revised requirements in aligning teacher specialization with academic mastery. He remarked, “A teacher has to master the content of a subject in which you specialize, so you have to have a higher grade in the subject you want to teach. In the beginning, it was still a C plus in the subject. But what has been reduced is from a C plus to a C plain in the average grade.”
Barasa also emphasized that all TTCs have successfully transitioned to the competency-based teacher education program, enhancing the quality of teacher preparation across the board.
“At primary teacher training colleges, we offer the Diploma in Primary Teacher Education, Diploma in Early Childhood Teacher Education, and Diploma in Secondary Teacher Education. I can confirm that all the private and public TTCs have started these programs, which are up and running,” he affirmed.
As of now, Kenya boasts a total of 35 public and 28 private TTCs, collectively offering programs in Early Childhood Development and Education (ECDE), as well as Diplomas in Primary and Secondary Teacher Education. Notably, the revised entry requirements have garnered the support of stakeholders who believe that the changes will notably benefit TTCs grappling with low enrollment rates. Some institutions have even witnessed enrollments of fewer than twenty students, confronting challenges such as inadequate budget allocations, insufficient parental fee payments, and prevailing low enrollment trends.
The introduced revisions stand as a testament to Kenya’s resolute commitment to elevating its education sector. These changes are expected to usher in a new era of teacher preparation, aligning with the evolving needs of the nation’s students while fortifying the quality of education imparted by dedicated educators.