The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) CEO Dr. Nancy Macharia is worried over teacher preparation and requirements to facilitate a smooth implementation of the Junior and Senior School curriculum delivery.
Macharia is worried of the core subjects to be handled, the need for teachers to be retooled and the severe teacher shortage that need to be addressed in shortest time.
The Commission which is established under Article 237 of the Constitution is mandated to perform various teacher management functions.
Specifically, the Commission is required to register trained teachers; review the general demand and supply of teachers in the Country; and to advise the National government on all matters relating to the teaching service.
The Commission according to Macharia, is expected to project teacher demand levels and appropriate areas of focus that will inform the strategies for training and preparation of teachers who will be available and ready to handle the junior and senior school learning.
In 2023 the Competency Based Curriculum (CBC) will spill over to junior secondary. Junior secondary school will comprise of Grades 7, 8 and 9.
Senior secondary school will comprise of Grades 10, 11 and 12.
In 2023, pioneer learners under the new 2-6-3-3-3 CBC system will transition to junior secondary school after sitting the Grade Six national examinations.
The Basic Education Principal Secretary Julius Jwan said that the junior secondary school will be domiciled both in secondary and primary schools.
“Classrooms used by pupils of class seven and eight will remain vacant due to the introduction of the CBC. But the classrooms will not go to waste because they are public resources. Instead, they will be used by students of Junior secondary schools,” Jwan said.
The government also allowed private schools to set up junior secondary classes to ease the transition of learners.
Education CS George Magoha said the government does not have enough land, especially in the cities, to set up all the requisite facilities ahead of the transition.
He asked private schools to start establishing additional structures to aid in the transition.
Already the Commission made the announcement that it will train at least 60,000 secondary school teachers to handle junior secondary classes in March and April 2022.
The Commission also said it will deploy PTE teachers with degree in secondary option and C+ (plus) in KCSE to boost teaching in junior secondary schools.
However the Commission said teachers who did not attain a mean grade C+ in the KCSE exam will not teach in secondary schools even if they have degree in secondary option.
This move locks out thousands of primary school teachers who were looking forward to teach in junior secondary.
TSC said it raised the entry point of teaching in the country to have the right kind of people to offer quality education to our children.
In an advise to the national government Nancy Macharia recommends the teacher education curriculum to be flexible and aligned to enable one teacher to teach variety of subjects.
Macharia says universities including private universities and colleges be appropriately informed about the new subjects areas that should guide admission of students pursuing education to meet the projected demands.
“Private colleges and Universities be informed about the new learning areas so that they can equally admit students to pursue and train in the subjects,” says Macharia.
TSC highlighted the following learning areas that require special attention for the appropriate number of teachers:
1) Pre-Technical and Pre -Vocational Education
2) Life Skills Education
4) Health Education (Home Science and Biology teachers can be retooled to teach the subject).
1) Indigenous Languages
2) Kenya Sign Language
3) Sign Language
4) Visual Arts
5) Performing Arts
Macharia says in order to implement some of the learning areas, there is need to re-tool teachers in the following learning areas:
I) Home Science and Biology, to facilitate learning in Health Education.
2) Social Studies, to include the new content on Citizenship introduced in the learning area.
3) Sports and Physical Education, to include the aspect of sports and health introduced in the learning area.
What of teachers with degree (primary options)and have c+.
What of those with degrees in ecde? will they be employed to teach in junior classes?