New Opportunities for Aspiring Teachers as KUCCPS Revamps Entry Requirements

Aspiring teachers across Kenya are eagerly awaiting their reporting dates this September, after the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Services (KUCCPS) advertised 11,359 slots for Diploma Primary Teacher Education (DPTE) and 2,081 for Diploma Early Childhood Teacher Education (DECTE) in training colleges (TTCs) this July.

This move by KUCCPS signals a transformative shift in the landscape of teacher education, opening doors for many individuals who are passionate about shaping the future through education. The application process was conducted online, accessible to candidates who had sat for KCSE exams between 2020 and 2022. The revamped TTC entry grade for both DPTE and DECTE courses now requires a mean grade of C (plain) for application, along with a payment of Ksh 1,500 via Mpesa to KUCCPS.

The deadline for applications on the KUCCPS portal was set for July 28th, 2023. Currently, the fee structure for public colleges ranges from sh 72,000 to sh 76,000 per year. The journey to becoming a qualified teacher will take three years, including a practicum lasting a full school term.

Previously, the path to becoming a primary school teacher required an average grade of C plain, with cluster subjects of mathematics, English, and Kiswahili at C level and a C in a science or humanities subject. However, the new requirements focus on an average grade of C (plain) without the need for cluster subjects. On the other hand, training as a secondary school teacher necessitates a C plain and a C plus in two subjects.

This shift follows recommendations by the Presidential Working Party on Education Reforms (PWPER), aimed at refining teacher preparation programs to ensure educators are well-equipped to deliver quality education.

The Kenya Teachers Colleges Principals’ Association (KTCPA) has championed the adoption of these revised entry requirements by all TTCs. Paul Barasa, the KTCPA chairman, emphasizes the importance of mastering the content of subjects to be taught. “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,” he explains.

Barasa also highlights that all TTCs have embraced the competency-based teacher education program, offering programs like the Diploma in Primary Teacher Education, Diploma in Early Childhood Teacher Education, and Diploma in Secondary Teacher Education.

With a total of 35 public and 28 private TTCs offering Early Childhood Development and Education (ECDE), as well as Diploma in Primary and Secondary Teacher Education, the revised entry requirements are seen as a lifeline for TTCs grappling with low enrolment. Education stakeholders believe these changes will contribute to an influx of pre-service teachers, boosting both the quality and quantity of educators in the system.

While the revisions bring new opportunities, Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu acknowledges that maintaining the quality of education will present challenges. He cites recommendations from the PWPER, including the development of a retooling and upgrading program for teachers who graduated before 2023. As the education landscape evolves, the ministry is actively strategizing to implement these recommendations and ensure the competency-based curriculum is effectively implemented in schools across the nation.


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