The Teachers Service Commission, TSC, wants all secondary school teachers to undergo mandatory refresher training courses. According to the Commission learning areas introduced under the new Education system have made it mandatory for all teachers to go back to school to gain skills on how to handle the subject adjustments as the secondary schools prepare for a double intake in 2023.
In a letter to Basic Education Principal Secretary Dr Julius Jwan, TSC Boss Dr Nancy Macharia says there are some new subjects which require teachers to be trained and hired.
Those requiring special attention include pre-technical and pre-vocational education, life skills, agriculture and health education.
Others are optional subjects such as indigenous languages, Kenya sign language, visual arts and performing arts.
According to Dr Macharia, all home science and biology teachers will have to be retrained to enable them handle health education, while teachers in social studies must be taught how to teach new content on citizenship.
Similarly, sports and physical education teachers must be retrained so as to deal with sports and health requirements in the new Competency Based Curriculum, CBC.
The commission wants a total re-engineering of the whole and current teacher education curriculum so as to meet the special demands of CBC.
“We advise and recommend that the teacher education curriculum should be made flexible and aligned to enable a single teacher to teach a variety of subjects,” she says in the July 26 letter, 2021.
Currently, teachers are trained to teach at least two subjects but the demands of the CBC now make it necessary to widen the teaching areas.
Some of the subjects introduced under the new system and that have no teachers include leatherwork, wood technology, hairdressing and beauty therapy, plumbing and ceramics and welding fabrication.
Others are mandarin, sports teachers, performing arts and visual and applied arts.
Dr Macharia says teachers in various subjects that have been adjusted or adopted new learning areas will be retrained across the country.
They include those for business studies, mathematics, physical sciences, English and literature, Kiswahili, sign language, Arabic, French, German, Agriculture, History, CRE, and building construction. Others are Islamic Religious Education, Hindu Religious Education, home economics, aviation, electricity and metal technology.
The commission recommends that sufficient funds be made available “for the retooling and training of teachers for the effective implementation of junior and senior secondary curriculum.”
TSC also recommends that the three diploma colleges – Kagumo, Kibabii and Lugari—be ordered to admit students for the new subjects “on a demand-driven approach.”
According to the TSC recommendations, Kenya Technical Training College should be directed to upscale the training of teachers in the technical oriented subjects required under CBC.
“Universities should be appropriately informed about the new subjects and that should guide admission of students pursuing education to meet the projected demands,” the commission says.
In the new Curriculum, teachers will be expected to handle three subjects as opposed to the current two.
“Teachers at this level (secondary school) will teach three subjects at Junior and Senior secondary,” reads the TSC framework document on entry requirements in the teaching service.