Thousands of students who were admitted into teacher training colleges with lower grades are in for a rude shock after the Attorney-General stopped the Education minster from lowering entry grades.
AG Kihara Kariuki said the mandate of setting entry grades belongs to the Teachers Service Commission (TSC).
The students from 17 marginalised counties were admitted to the colleges both for diploma and certificate courses in October.
In an advisory opinion dated November 26, addressed to TSC CEO Nancy Macharia, copied to Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed and the Kenya National Qualification Authority (KNQA) Director-General Juma Mukhwana, Mr Kariuki said the CS and the authority had no role in determining the entry grade.
"In view of the foregoing analysis, the Commission is by dint of the constitution, the state organ with the constitutional power and mandate to set the minimum qualifications for persons entering the teaching service," advised Mr Kariuki.
He went on: "This power is encapsulated in the commission's duty to review the standards of education and training for persons entering the teaching service. There is no law that vests the cabinet secretary or KNQA with power to set such standards and were it to be there, it would be unconstitutional and therefore and therefore null and void to the extent of its unconstitutionality."
Mr Kariuki added that the overall consequence of the analysis is that the KNQA regulations, to the extent that they purport to define the minimum qualifications for entry into the teaching service are void for being in violation of the constitution.
In September, KNQA said students seeking to study for a diploma in Education need a C plain or C- in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education exam, down from the previous C+.
Meanwhile, those seeking a certificate in Education (popularly known as P1), need a D+, down from a C plain.