Nairobi — Students training to become primary school teachers may soon pay Sh10,960 more if a proposal by heads of teacher training institutions is approved.
The proposal, presented by the Kenya Teachers College Principals' Association (KTCPA), wants the fees to be increased from the current Sh29,375 to Sh40,335.
According to the association secretary, Mr David Nyakaru, the increase has been necessitated by the rising cost of living.
The association, which wrote a letter to the new Education PS, Prof James ole Kiyiapi, on Wednesday, took advantage of his presence during the conclusion of selection of students to join colleges this year to present the appeal.
"The current fees structure has been in place for the last 15 years. Unless the proposals are passed, there will be difficulties in implementing training programmes, adversely affecting quality," said Mr Nyakaru.
He said that most of the 18 public teacher training colleges needed massive repairs.
"The world is going the Information and Communication Technology way, but none of the colleges has a purpose built computer lab," said Mr Nyakaru.
He said funds from income-generating activities were unreliable and not sufficient.
Among the items for which the principals want allocations increased are "activity" by Sh1,700, "teaching practice" by Sh1,260, "local transport and travel" by Sh1,800 and "tuition equipment and stores" by Sh1,200.
The KTCPA chairman, Mr James Ziro, also asked the PS to hasten the preparation of a curriculum that will enable the colleges to offer diploma courses.
According to Mr Ziro, the principals presented the proposal to curriculum developer, Kenya Institute of Education, a year ago but nothing has been forthcoming.
Prof Kiyiapi, who was meeting with the principals for the first time since his appointment, asked for time to look at their proposals.
He formed a committee composed of representatives from the colleges and the Education ministry with him as the chair. The committee is scheduled to look into the issues before December this year.
While admitting that there is a need to review the fees structure, Prof Kiyiapi said care was needed to ensure that the move doesn't punish students from poor families.