Plans are complete to admit the first cohort of diploma teacher trainees after the Government scrapped certificate courses in a bold move to implement the new curriculum in schools.
Under the new tuition regime, diploma will be the minimum training level for all primary school teachers in the country as the Government lays out plans for quality teaching and learning.
Details of Diploma in Primary Teacher Education (DPTE) training reveal that the curriculum has been reformed with core learning areas approved.
These areas are professional courses; teacher support courses; English, Kiswahili or KSL for trainees who are hearing-impaired; and physical and health education.
The entry requirements shall be C Plain in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education examination (KCSE) or its equivalent as equated by the Kenya National Examinations Council (Knec).
The duration for the diploma training shall be three years, according to the approved curriculum designs.
The designs will guide trainers and trainees on how best to deliver quality learning and teaching in tandem with the requirements of the Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC).
Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha last week said the first group of diploma teachers will be admitted to various colleges in May, marking an end to certificates training.
“We are ready for the first intake in May for teacher training that will be crucial to the CBC,” said Prof Magoha.
There are 31 public training colleges and some 85 private colleges.
Ministry of Education suspended admissions to P1 training classes last year, saying the move is aimed at making arrangements to take in diploma students.
Magoha said the development is key for sustainable capacity development of teachers and to improve the quality of education under the CBC.
The CS said this category of teachers will be trained specifically on how to teach pupils under the CBC.
The Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) acting Chief Executive Officer Joel Mabonga said Kenya needs competent teachers to be able to nurture every learner’s potential as enshrined in the CBC framework.
“The mission of the teacher education curriculum is to develop a competent teacher who is committed to nurturing every learner’s potential,” said Dr Mabonga in an earlier interview.
Basic Education Principal Secretary Belio Kipsang said micro-teaching and practicum in teacher education have been given prominence in order to enhance experiential and reflective learning with support from experienced teachers as mentors.
“Teacher training colleges will ensure that the teacher trainee receives appropriate training and professional development which will accord them an opportunity to engage in research,” said Kipsang.
Unlike before when content was being taught separately with methodology, in the diploma course, trainees will be taken through an integrated concept of content and pedagogy.
For example, in an English lesson, a trainee will be first taken through how to pronounce letters, and then the concept is transferred to actual teaching where they are guided on how to deliver the content in a class session.
At the end of the training, a teacher should be able to develop and assess the educational competencies required of a learner.
According to the designs, the teachers’ trainees will only specialise in three subject areas, having attained a minimum KCSE grade of C (Plain) in the learning areas they wish to focus on.
The areas for specialisation have been grouped into four clusters, but teachers will only pick one subject per category for specialty.
Kenya Sign Language, Indigenous Languages, Foreign Languages (German, French, Arabic and Mandarin (Chinese) fall under the first cluster.
Mathematics, Home Science, Agriculture, Science and Technology are cluster two subjects with Social Studies, Religious Education (CRE, HRE, IRE) listed under cluster three. Cluster four subjects are Art and Craft, Music.
“Candidates shall specialise from the first year in at least three learning areas preferably from any one of the three clusters,” reads Curriculum Designs for Diploma in Primary Teacher Education.
Subjects such as English, Kiswahili, and Physical Health Education (PHE) will be mandatory, but not necessarily specialties.
The three mandatory learning areas will build on the knowledge, skills, and attitudes of the young teacher for effective lesson delivery.
Those who will be approved to teach in schools will have completed the required hours for coursework and passed the stipulated assessment as directed by Knec.
They will also be required to have completed the required hours for the practicum and passed the stipulated assessment as directed by Knec.
There shall be three months micro-teaching undertaken as a course and will be a pre-requisite for teaching practice. During this period, teacher trainees will prepare learning and teaching materials and short lessons, which they will try on their peers for practice and feedback.