The fate of more than 300,000 teachers who are currently holding primary certificates known as P1 hangs in the balance after a new policy directive by the Ministry of Education.
The ministry has indicated that a Diploma in Primary Teacher Education (DPTE) will be the minimum qualification for primary school teachers.
The diploma-level training tailored for Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC) is set to begin in May in teacher training colleges. The course will take three years, giving little time for the certificate holders to advance their training.
Those who will have acquired a diploma will have a better chance of securing employment than those who only have P1 certificates.
The last batch of P1 teacher-learners will complete their training in March and are unlikely to get employment until they advance to diploma level to meet the new requirements.
New primary school teachers are now being employed under job grade B5 and not under the older job group G as it used to be the case for fresh P1 teachers.
During the Covid-19 pandemic break, the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) trained some teachers with new modalities of teaching as the Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC) focuses on higher physical interaction compared to the 8-4-4 system.
The commission intended to prepare teachers for re-opening of schools through training, capacity building, sensitization and induction programmes
The training focused on Curriculum Support Officers (CSOs) and champions on CBC mathematics content for Grade 1-3.
339,743 teachers have so far been trained on the curriculum in primary schools.
The government had planned to roll out the programme in January 2021 but due to the Covid-19 disruption, it was postponed.