University Students in Shock with TSC Set To End Bachelor of Education in September
University students around the country with ambitions of becoming teachers are in shock following the Teachers Service Commission’s (TSC) decision to remove the Bachelor of Education program in universities beginning this September.
The move is part of the Commission’s broad plan to reform the education sector focusing on the training of teachers in colleges and universities.
In the “Framework on Entry Requirements in the Teaching Service” document, the TSC is of the opinion that the review of teacher training courses at the university level requires aspiring teachers to undergo a four-year Bachelor’s degree course in one of Arts or Sciences and then following that up with a one-year post-graduate specialization in education.
TSC says that the move would put the teaching profession on the same level as other professions like law and medicine.
“For the Bachelor of Education, the course takes four years without any requirement for attachment or internship. No requirement for annual renewal of registration” said the commission.
TSC feels that just like other elite professions like Law, teaching should have a post-graduate course.
“Admission into all the diplomas and degrees in teacher education courses shall be demand-driven. The Diploma in Education courses for CBC students at each level shall be three years after senior school since they will have had time for specialization in content areas,” recommended TSC.
However, many have already opposed the proposal among them lecturers whose view is that the reforms are ill-informed.
University Academic Staff Union (UASU) also chipped in with opposing the proposals, blaming the Commission for coming up with a proposal on its own without consulting. They felt the move is unacceptable and that it could make the profession of education look like an “afterthought”.
“The union will reject the document because what TSC wants to do is to scrap the Bachelor of Education program so that all students are admitted only for Bachelor of Arts or Science.
“It was done without consultation,” Itolondo said in a press conference in Nairobi early this week.
UASU said that a degree cannot be changed with scientific research being the cause. They felt it cannot be done just because a few individuals from TSC feel so.
“If there is something wrong with the program, the best thing to do is to propose to improve it, not to scrap it. TSC is trying to sneak in an idea and that is wrong because you are making it look like becoming a teacher is an afterthought,” added Itolondo.
UASU also pointed out that TSC is trying to compare the teaching profession with other courses like law or medicine.
“When people go for Bachelor of Medicine, they start as doctors from the first year up to the end. You do not become a medic when you are in your fourth year. It is the same in Law or Architecture. Students are supposed to go with their line of the profession from the start,” said UASU.
Lecturers on their part felt that the practice was tried before but it did not work adding that the issue stemmed from them being caught unawares.
“TSC says that they want to implement in September this year and that is why we have come out to resist that because already there are people out there with Bachelor of Arts degrees and are still unemployed,” added Itolondo.
The Teachers Service Commission also recommended that there should be a Postgraduate Diploma in Teacher Education to cover Teacher Education learning areas in preparing teacher educators who will be training the pre-service teachers at Teacher Training Colleges.
TSC wants the proposal to begin implementation starting from September 2021.
The Bachelor of Education degree has existed as the basic training course for teachers in Kenya since 1972.
The Teachers Service Commission revealed that a C+ (Plus) is the minimum entry grade for those aspiring to train as teachers and a minimum of a B- (Minus) in three teaching subjects.