The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) has been faulted by University bosses for what they termed as ‘overstepping’ its mandate.
Vice chancellors from various universities decried the involvement of TSC in the training of teachers.
The concerns came up during the first international annual conference for public universities management in Mombasa. Several VCs from public universities were in attendance.
In a communiqué read by the conference’s programme coordinator Ndirangu Kioni, the vice chancellors cited interference by the state agency.
“There has been an attempt by TSC to dictate how the teaching of education courses will be done; thereby curtailing education freedom,” Kioni said.
The conference involved other state agencies under the State Department of University Education and Research.
They include Helb, KUCCPS, Universities Funding Board, and National Research Fund, among others.
Kioni who is also Dedan Kimathi University VC noted that the current teacher training requirements should be sustained.
“The proposed diverse curricula in education degree will curtail robust teacher training. TSC should not interfere in the teacher training in universities,” Kioni said.
The university bosses called for harmonisation of curricula for teacher training across institutions in the country.
“A special task force should be constituted to streamline teacher training in education. Universities should be involved in the review of CBC,” he said.
However, according to a source from TSC who sought anonymity, the mandate of the agency in training is to review the standards.
“We only advise, we don’t tell universities to do or to stop doing something,” the source said.
The source clarified that TSC advises institutions since they are the ones who deal with the teachers.
“For instance, we might say instead of training more English teachers, now you should teach more Swahili or now we have teachers in chemistry, try humanities,” he said.
The source added that being the teachers’ employer they have to give their two cents on teachers’ qualifications.
“Or we say the teachers you are training in mathematics have a qualification of D, they might not be competent enough to teach learners to get A,” he added.
Still on TSC, the university chiefs called for upgrading of the institution’s academic staff.
Kioni said most lecturers serving in public universities are not able to match up to the standards.
“Universities inherited staff from the TSC, but most of these staff are unable to teach degree programmes.
Prospective trainees must now have a mean grade of C (plain) in the KCSE with a C (plain) score in Mathematics, English, Kiswahili, one science, and one humanity subject.
The new entry grade was occasioned by the demands of the Competency-Based Curriculum.
Applicants for a Diploma in Primary Teacher Education should have a KCSE exam mean grade of C (plain) or it’s equivalent with a C (plain) in English, Kiswahili, Mathematics, and also a C (plain) in any of the humanities and science subjects.