Official fault decision to lower entry level in teachers training colleges

A teacher’s union official has faulted a recent government decision to lower the entry level to teachers training colleges to a D+, down from a C plain, saying it would make the profession unattractive.

The Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) National Trustee, John Gitari said the government should instead fast track employment of teachers so as to attract more students to the profession.

He said the entry level should instead have been raised to make it attractive just like other high flying jobs like medicine, law and engineering.

The Kenya National Qualifications Authority (KNQA) recently announced it would lower the entry requirement due to a decline in the number of students enrolling in teaching in the last two years.

Students seeking to pursue a certificate in education (P1 teachers), will now need to have a KCSE minimum grade of D plus.

It makes no sense to train as a teacher, then wait for many years before getting employed. Why would a student pursue a course where about 120,000 teachers who graduated before him are queued to be employed? he posed, during a press brief in Embu town on Thursday.

He said students would rather pursue other lucrative courses where they are assured of employment or enroll in vocational centres to gain technical skills where jobs are abundant.

Gitari said it was unreasonable for the government to expect a student who passed well in KCSE to train as a teacher and wait for 10 years to be employed only to earn Sh.23, 000.

He said the situation in many teachers training institutions was dire due to low enrolment and retention rates.

In some colleges, the capacity has reduced to an eighth. In some that want to admit 300 students, they get 150 applications and only about 70 report. Students now want to do technical courses such as masonry, where after one year of training, they can earn at least Sh.1, 500 daily, he said.

Source: Kenya News Agency