Education and TSC News Today: Post-graduate diploma for teachers vital
TSC News Today; Teachers Service Commission wants Bachelor Education (BEd) degrees, for arts and sciences, abolished and high school teachers undertake a Bachelor of Arts (BA0 or Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree and enrol for a one-year post-graduate diploma (PGD) in Education.
Article 237(3) of the Constitution gives TSC the mandate to review the standards of education and training of persons entering the teaching service; review the demand for and the supply of teachers; and advise the national government on matters relating to the teaching profession.
At the 1st Teachers Conference at Kenya School of Government (KSG) in 2019, I presented a paper (an excerpt from my PhD thesis) proposing harmonisation of the classroom practice by establishing the Kenya School of Education. Our teachers are trained by 68 registered universities in Kenya and others abroad. Their classroom practice is as varied as the universities where they graduated. Other professions do so through post-graduate training. Examples include Kenya School of Revenue Administration (Kesra), Kenya Revenue Authority’s premier training school; Kenya School of Law, for lawyers to join the Bar; and KSG for civil servants.
TSC wants university graduates aspiring to be teachers to undergo a post-graduate diploma in education. It has begun a transformative agenda that will see the framework for entry to the teaching service revised. All the 8-4-4 and Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC) students must undertake, first, BA or BSc for three years, majoring in the key subjects, and then a year-long postgraduate diploma in education for them to teach at junior, senior school and Special Needs Education (SNE).
I am against Universities’ Academic Staff Union (Uasu) opposition to this proposal. TSC is the greatest (constitutionally mandated) consumer of trained teachers. Ordinarily, it is the consumer who ultimately determines which goods and services remain in production. If they want the BEd programme replaced with BA and BSc, so be it. A graduate who wants to teach will do the Education PGD. BA or BSc students spend equal time at the university with their Bachelor of Education (BEd) peers.
In Finland, teachers are required to have a master’s degree, including pedagogical studies and teaching practice. To teach in a state school in England, you must have a degree, and gain Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) by following an Initial Teacher Training (ITT) programme. In Japan, becoming a public school teacher requires graduating from a ministry-approved university teacher education programme and then obtaining a teaching certificate for a particular school level (primary, lower secondary or upper secondary) and for a particular subject. In South Africa, there is an option of completing an appropriate first degree, followed by a one-year Advanced Diploma in Education.