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KNUT Secretary General Wilson Sossion interacts with headteachers during a recent KEPSHA conference in Mombasa. The Ministry plans to appoint subject teacher specialists across the country. Photo/Andrew Kasuku

Ministry to hire 50,000 teachers as subject specialists

By Staff Reporter

Over 50,000 Secondary school teachers who have specialised in two teaching subjects will be appointed to serve as ‘Focal Persons’ for dissemination of information on curriculum matters.
The State Department of Basic Education in liaison with Teachers Service Commission (TSC) has embarked on the massive exercise.
Consequently, the Ministry of Education has instructed all County Directors of Education to collect data on teachers with specialised skills in certain subjects and forward the same to Jogoo House – the ministry’s headquarters.
In a circular (MOE.HQS/3/1373) dated January 3rd, 2018 addressed to County Directors of Education, a Senior Deputy Director of Education, Mr Paul Kibet said the list of the said teachers should be transmitted to Jogoo House with full names of the teachers, their TSC No., school, telephone No. Email address and subject.
The top ministry official acting on behalf of the Principal Secretary for Basic Education, Dr Richard Belio Kipsang states: “The Ministry of Education is collecting data on teachers with specialised skills in certain subjects. They will be appointed as ‘Focal Persons’ for dissemination of information on curriculum matters.
“This is therefore to request all County Directors of Education to facilitate the appointment of a teacher in charge for each subject examinable in Secondary school in each county. The list of the said teachers should be forwarded to the undersigned by January 10th, 2018.” The circular, however, is silent on terms and condition of service for the ‘Focal Persons’.
The new development comes at a time teachers who were trained on the implementation of the proposed new curriculum for Primary-level learning complain that they were not adequately trained for the critical process. It has also emerged that besides teachers being ill-prepared for the implementation of the proposed curriculum, parents/guardians, Boards of Management and school sponsors were not well appraised on the new changes.
Initially, the acting Cabinet Secretary for Education, Dr Fred Matiang’i had insisted on the January 2018 roll-out of the curriculum.
A survey conducted by Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD)corroborate findings by the ministry top officials that teachers were generally not prepared for the roll-out of the new curriculum.
The new Government directive comes at a time when teachers in both public and private service are to undergo the mandatory two-year In-service professional training course whose modules have already been developed.
Teachers regardless of their status and educational/training background will now be required by law to undertake professional training leading to Teacher Professional Certificate (TPC) so as to be licensed to practice in Kenyan schools undertaking KICD curriculum.
In a previous interview with Education News, TSC Deputy Secretary/Chief Executive, Simon Kavisi said the teaching modules are now ready for training sessions, and that the (modules) encourage and emphasise on subject specialization by teachers.
The top Commission official said it would not be business as usual, adding that teachers who fail to take up the two-year TPC In-service Programme would not be issued with a practicing certificate, hence would not be allowed to teach in any Kenyan school undertaking KICD curriculum.
“During the In-service training, teachers will have to specialise in not more than two teaching subjects examinable by Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC). On completion of the course, they would be awarded Teacher Professional Certificate which will be renewed after every five years,” explained Kavisi.
“Teacher Professional Certificate Programme stresses on pedagogical training…….Introducing teachers to the real discipline that deals with the theory and practice of education. It thus concerns the study and practice of how best to teach subjects like ICT, Mathematics, English, Swahili, History, Sciences, Geography and technical subjects,” said the TSC Boss.
The Commission Deputy CEO said the TPC Programme was introduced in line with Section 35 of the TSC Act (2012) which states that the Commission shall take all necessary steps to ensure that persons in the Teaching Service comply with the teaching standards prescribed by the Commission.
States part of the Act: “The Commission requires every registered teacher to undertake career progression and professional development programmes as may be prescribed by regulations made under the TSC Act. A teacher who fails to undertake prescribed career and professional development programmes, or take out a teaching certificate shall be dealt with in accordance with the set out regulations.”
There are five Teacher Education Programmes in the country which are covered under Teacher Professional Certificate Re-training Programme.
The modules for the five Teacher Education Programmes developed by TSC in partnership with KICD include, the Early Childhood Development Education; Secondary Teacher Education; Technical Teacher Education; Special Needs Teacher Education and Primary Teacher Education.
According to Centre for International Education (CIE) which is collaborating with KICD and TSC to conduct In-service Training Programme, the TPC Programme will provide opportunity to Kenyan tutors to undergo a comprehensive pedagogical training and subject specialization.

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