Now TSC pushes for mandatory retraining of secondary school teachers

More than 110,000 secondary school teachers face retraining to enable them to meet the demands of a competency-based curriculum. The Teachers Service Commission says new learning areas introduced under the system have made it mandatory for all teachers to go back to school to learn how to handle subject adjustments, as secondary schools prepare for double intakes in 2023.


In a letter to Dr Julius Jawan, Principal Secretary, Basic Education, seen by The Standard, TSC chief executive Nancy Macharia said there are some new subjects that require teachers to be trained and hired.


Those that need special attention include pre-technical and pre-vocational education, life skills, agriculture and health education.


There are other elective subjects such as Indigenous Languages, Kenya Sign Language, Visual Arts and Performing Arts. Makaria says that while all home science and biology teachers will need to be retrained to be able to handle health education, those involved in social studies should be taught how to teach new material on citizenship, while sports and Must be able to cope with sports for physical education and health.


The commission recommends changes in the teacher education curriculum to meet the special demands of the CBC. “We recommend and recommend that teacher education curricula be flexible and aligned to enable a teacher to teach a variety of subjects,” she says in the July 26 letter, which outlines teacher preparation and requirements. But there is an official advice. The country is all set to set up junior and senior secondary schools in less than two years.



Currently, teachers are trained to teach at least two subjects, but the demand for CBCs now makes it necessary to broaden teaching areas.


Some of the subjects introduced under the new system and which do not have teachers include leatherworking, woodworking techniques, hairdressing and aesthetic medicine, plumbing and ceramics, and welding manufacturing.



Others are Mandarin, sports teacher, performing arts and visual and applied arts.


Dr Macharia says that teachers of different subjects have been accommodated or adopted in new teaching areas across the country.


These include business studies, mathematics, physics, English and literature, Kiswahili, sign language, Arabic, French, German, agriculture, history, CRE and building construction. Others are Islamic religious education, Hindu religious education, home economics, aviation, electricity and metal technology.


The Commission has recommended that “Adequate funds be made available for retraining and training of teachers for effective implementation of Junior and Senior Secondary Curriculum”.


It also recommends that three diploma colleges – Kagumo, Kibabi and Lugari – be ordered to admit students to new subjects “on a demand-driven approach”.


It also states that the Kenya Technical Training College should be directed to enhance the training of teachers in technical oriented subjects required under the CBC.


“Universities should be appropriately informed about new subjects and guide the admission of students seeking education to meet anticipated demands,” the commission says.


Already, almost all primary school teachers handling CBC up to grade five have been adequately trained on the new system.


In June Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani allocated only $1 billion for CBC implementation and reduced the allocation to TSC by $18.7 billion.


TSC had sought Rs 300 billion to hire more teachers to manage the increased student population driven by government pressure to achieve a 100 percent transition from primary to secondary schools.


The funding gap means TSC will not be able to meet its projection of hiring 25,000 teachers and 12,000 interns in the current fiscal, while schools are grappling with a shortage of over 100,000 teachers in basic education.


Leading Grade 6 learners, who will sit next year’s national examinations under the 2-6-3-3-3 system, will move to junior secondary school in 2023, along with next year’s Class VIII candidates. The current standard six learners under the 8-4-4 system will appear in Form One after appearing in the KCPE exam, posing a huge infrastructure challenge of hosting 2.6 million children in 2023.


According to a government report on CBC, around 1,250,649 learners enrolled in Grade 4 in 2020 will enter junior secondary school (Grade 7) as the first group of 2-6-3-3-3, while 1,320,395 in 2020. The Standard Six group of will move to Form One in 2023 under the 8-4-4 system. While the 8-4-4 system is academic and exam-focused, the CBC places a greater emphasis on individual talents and developing competencies and career paths than elementary. School for tertiary education.

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