Teacher trainees in Teacher Training Colleges (TTC) are set to enjoy Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) funding for first time ever.
Trainee teachers are the only college students who are not included in the disbursement of HELB funding which currently caters for learners in university, diploma, certificate and vocational training.
However the trainee teachers will have to wait longer for government funding since they are yet to be put under the ambit of Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (KUCCPS).
KUCCPS is still rolling out plans, including meeting leadership of the Teacher Training Colleges (TTCs), that would lead to the first placement of students.
This even as Early Learning and Basic Education Principal Secretary Julius Jwan announced two weeks ago that recruitment of applicants for pre-service teacher training will be done through KUCCPS.
Dr Jwan said the shift to KUCCPS is progressive and will enable successful students to benefit from HELB, just like the rest of learners placed by the agency to universities and middle-level colleges.
The recruitment and placement of prospective students into TTCs has over the years been through the Ministry of Education.
This means that the students have not been getting HELB funding as they are not considered government-sponsored students.
Section 56 of the Universities Act mandates KUCCPS to ‘co-ordinate the placement of the government-sponsored students to universities and colleges.
This means that all students placed in colleges through KUCCPS qualify for State funding.
Jwan said this has now been extended to students who will pursue teacher training in TTCs.
“The new policy means that Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) candidates can now choose to be selected for Diploma in Primary Teacher Education (DPTE) or Diploma in Early Childhood Development Teacher Education (DECTE) when applying for post-secondary education training programmes,” said Jwan.
However, it is not clear how soon the placement for students by KUCCPS to TTCs will take place as new schedule released by the agency did not factor them.
KUCCPS only released a roadmap for continuous placement for students to Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVETS).
The TVETS placement processing schedule for 2021/2022 cycle reveals that whole process will end December 14.
KUCCPS Chief Executive Mercy Wahome, however, said the first call of applications will be done for two weeks.
“The student’s portal will open between November 15-28 to receive applications for placement to TVET institutions for government sponsorship,” reads the plan.
Processing TVET continuous placement will be done between November 29 and December 3 as validation and approval of continuous placement will be done between December 6 and 10.
The continuous placement report will be released on December 14, according to the schedule.
The report, however, explain that updating programmes and capacities by TVET colleges started October 4 and will end this Friday.
During this period, public TVET colleges are required to log in to the KUCCPS portal and review the courses they wish to put on offer for candidates to apply for, including the number of students the colleges require in each of the programmes.
The colleges are also free to make adjustments to the courses and capacity they wish to be put on offer.
And from October 18 to 29, KUCCPS will conduct the validation of programmes and capacities declared by the regulator, Technical Vocational Education and Training Authority (TVETA).
At this stage, KUCCPS will do a check with the TVETA to confirm that only accredited TVET courses and institutions are provided in the KUCCPS for applicants to choose.
Dr Wahome said that uploading the validated programmes and declared capacities will be done between November 1 and 5.
And before the first communication is released to students on applications, KUCCPS internal auditor will conduct programmes and capacities verification between November 8 and 10.
Some 173 public TVET institutions are targeted. The number of TVET programmes available in the last cycle were 362.