Kenya: Wajir East MP's Bill Seeks New Guidelines for Teacher-Training Requirement

Nairobi — Wajir East MP Rashid Amin wants Education Cabinet Secretary Professor George Magoha compelled to prescribe qualifications for a person to be admitted for training as a teacher by a training institution.

In his legislative proposal to amend the Teacher Service Commission Act 2010, Amin says a person who obtains a certificate from a training institution including through affirmative action shall be eligible to be registered as a teacher.

"The qualification for admission into training institutions may be varied from time to time by the Cabinet Secretary and shall be lower for persons from marginalised counties in order to afford the persons adequate and equal opportunities for training and advancement," Amin told a sitting of the National Assembly Committee on Education.

This comes months after North Eastern leaders hit out at the Teachers Service Commission for rejecting to implement a directive by the then Education CS Amina Mohamed who had directed colleges to lower the entry grade for marginalised students willing to join the profession.

But TSC Chief Executive Officer Nancy Macharia argued that implementing the proposal would affect the quality of teachers.

If the proposal would have been implemented, students seeking to study for diploma in education should have a C plain or a C- in KCSE down from the previous C+.

Meanwhile, those seeking a certificate in education popularly known as P1 needed a D plus, down from a C plain.

In his counter argument, the Wajir East legislator insisted that a precedent for implementing the programme has already been set in the Basic Education (Amendment) Act which invokes affirmative action in the admission for persons from marginalised regions to public primary and secondary schools.

"But if there is not similar amendments supporting the same in the TSC Act, then he will not be elaborate in providing for the teachers as required in Section 39 (d) (e) of the Basic Education (Amendment) Act. The amendments we are proposing today is harmonising, the responsibility, the policy that exists and be able to bring in the issue of minorities, the issue of disabilities and affirmative action and anchor it in education such that at any one time we don't as Kenyans become activists or feel beggars in our own nation because we feel we will get what is right to us in the law," Amin emphasised.

Steve Mogaka, who is Amin's legal adviser, explained further that their amendment has been necessitated by a High Court ruling which outlined that the function of training teachers does not lie with TSC and restricted it to registering teachers.

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