Relaxing of entry grades a boost for teacher colleges

What you need to know:

  • In some colleges, the number of tutors exceeded that of trainees.
  • Revamping Teachers Training Colleges is the way to go.

For many years the mainstay in the training of teachers for primary and secondary schools, teacher training colleges have for several years been on the verge of collapse due to the failure to attract trainees.

Their very existence has been threatened by the extremely low enrolment that could not justify the use of public funds.

That followed the raising of the entry requirement for the trainees by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) and the Ministry of Education. It was meant to improve the quality of teacher training for the competency-based curriculum (CBC).

Naturally, few could enrol as the majority had already qualified for university admission and other courses.

In some colleges, the number of tutors exceeded that of trainees and it was a gross waste of public resources to keep them running.

But the TTCs are coming back to life following a change of entry requirements. The 32 public colleges, which had enrolled only 6,935 trainees in the past two years, are buzzing with higher numbers.

Entry requirement

The ministry’s relaxation of entry requirements for the diploma course has done the trick.

Mandera TTC, for example, which had only 23 teacher trainees, now has 668 and is expected to enlist more.

By last September, the total number of trainees had risen to 20,845 and is expected to rise further in the next intake in a few months. 

The crisis began in 2021, when the entry requirement was raised to a mean grade of C (plain) and a similar score in all the cluster subjects as well as in English, Kiswahili and Mathematics.

On the recommendation of the presidential task force on education reforms, admission to the TTC diploma course will now require only a C (plain) without the cluster subjects.

Revamping TTCs is the way to go with the establishment of an umbrella Kenya Teachers College, to which they will be affiliated, just like the KMTC is for health courses.

This should save the TTCs from collapse and ensure a sufficient pool of primary and secondary school teachers.