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TSC Being Pressurized to Address the Shortage of IRE Teachers

The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) on Tuesday 2nd March 2021 received submissions from the Muslim Education Council (MEC) on matters and issues concerning the education of Islamic Religious Education.

The MEC’s submission to TSC covered five areas. The areas are the shortage of teachers amongst pastoralist communities, challenges of hijab in schools, shortage of Islamic Religious Education Teachers (IRE), Accreditation of Muslim Education Council (MEC) to approve IRE teachers, and the Exemption of Foreign-Trained IRE Teachers from KCSE’s requirement.

As they presented the memorandum, the Muslim delegation led by Abdullatif Essajee who is a member of the Jamia Mosque Committee Nairobi stated that the Muslim Community recognizes that the government and the Teachers Service Commission’s support in the matter of education.

Besides, he said that the Muslim Community will work together with the government to promote other programs of development.

The educationists highlighted other proposals such as the shortage of teachers among pastoralist communities in the North Eastern Region as educational facilities in Kenya since the colonial era has been forgotten in preference to the densely populated agricultural communities ignoring the problems pastoralist communities face.

They also said the Devolution and other measures like the waiver of school fees, free primary education, the construction of boarding schools, and the school feeding programs have improved the situation.

These measures have, however, had little impact in terms of increasing access and the involvement of pastoralist communities in education.

This is because they have usually been introduced without serious consideration being given of the current socio-economic conditions.

The MEC members implored the government and TSC to engage MEC when preparing clearer policies and involve communities as well in planning as well as incorporate elements of their existing traditional educations institutions.

The officials said that the shortage of IRE teachers has forced many schools not to offer the subject and urged more sponsorships and bursary schemes from the government so as to attract more learners. It is hoped that with more learners in schools, this will then mean more IRE teachers in schools.

Besides, the MEC proposed Muslim teachers who have gained training in Islamic studies abroad to be accredited to provide the services in Islamic religious education and this could, in turn, close the gap on the lack of IRE teachers and be re-trained on the competency-based program through distance learning program and also a holiday-based assessment.

Other proposals that were brought forward include allowing TSC to subject individuals educated IRE abroad to do a competency test and also MEC to certify the individuals.

The council proposed MEC representation in the Teachers Service Commission and urged the government to have members of TSC saying that this will promote an effective and efficient structure of addressing the challenges of Muslim.

The MEC delegation which comprised of MEC executive director Munawar Khan, Former IPOA commissioner Fatuma Saman and Former Secretary of the Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC) Dr. Ahmed Yusuf applauded the government for approving the Kenya Primary Madrassa Curriculum.

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