Universities are up in arms over the move by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) to scrap the Bachelor of Education Degree Programmes. In the proposals the Commission instead wants university students to undergo a three year study in Bachelors (Science or Arts) degree before proceeding for a one year Post Graduate Diploma in Education.
These new changes are contained in the latest TSC ‘FRAMEWORK ON ENTRY REQUIREMENTS IN THE TEACHING SERVICE’.
But, according to Dr. Mercy M. Mugambi (a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Educational Administration and Planning, School of Education) Teachers are key to improving quality education in any educational system. It is often said that the quality of an educational system cannot be greater than the quality of its teachers.
Currently with the reforms in Education in Kenya, stakeholders in the education sector have different views on how initial teacher development should be offered in Universities.
She says ‘Teacher Service Commission( TSC) whose mission is ’to professionalize the teaching service for quality education and development in Kenya’ is proposing a shift in the training models for teachers in Universities (from concurrent to consecutive training model) effective from September 2021. This will see the phasing out of Bachelor of Education in Art and Science.’
Dr. Mercy says the main question is what is the problem with the concurrent model? The concurrent model has the extreme advantage of integrating discipline and educology studies which is critical in any teaching and learning process.
She argues that a consecutive model often has less integrated learning experience between the discipline and the pedagogical studies and a short period of socialization into the profession. The consecutive model allows learners to hastily acquire knowledge which in the modern learning paradigm does not create a precondition to become a real pedagogue. Trainees need to reflect on experiences which cannot be acquired hastily. With this model, trainees do not have adequate opportunity to acquire in-depth knowledge of their professional environment and their relationship of their personality to it.
According to here, TSC should be able to predict the number of teachers that will be required to effectively implement Competency Based Curriculum (CBC), by analyzing if the supply of potential teachers will meet the demand and supply cycles: with the need to produce qualified teachers to implement the new curriculum, will the consecutive model allow for this?.
Competency Based Curriculum has emphasis on nurturing of potentials and talents of learners from the early years of learning. In the same way, Universities need to nurture teacher trainees in their profession from the early year of training.
Universities should therefore be left to align their programmes to the new system education in the same way the Ministry has done with Diploma Teacher Education (DTE) programme.
Dr Mercy blames the Commission for failing to bring all stakeholders on board and says consultation is Key for improvement in support the 21stCentury agenda.
Section 5 (1) of the Universities Act No. 42 of 2012 mandates the Commission for University Education to;
- Promote, advance, publicize and set standards relevant in the quality of university education, including the promotion and support of internationally recognized standards;
- to Monitor and evaluate the state of university education systems in relation to the national development goals; and
- Approve and inspect university programmes in Kenya.
She wonders ‘how come now TSC has the overall say in University programmes?’