Thirty two public Teacher Training Colleges (TTCs) throughout the country risk closure over low enrolment and poor grades.
The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) has warned the principals of the institutions to deal with the institutions' challenges, or else universities will be asked to train the student teachers.
"Why do we have low grades in your exams and a decline in enrolment? I am worried because the Ministry of Education is coming up with a policy that will be training these people at diploma level. If enrolment starts declining, most students will want to go to the university," TSC Chief Executive Officer Nancy Macharia said.
At the same time, the commission has announced the transfer of excess tutors in some of the colleges.
Dr Macharia said that, if the TTCs cannot improve, the commission will ask universities to start training diploma level teachers for primary schools.
"If our own colleges cannot perform, and they are not telling us where the problem is, so that we sort it out, what are we going to do? As colleges, what have you done about the low grades and declining enrolment?" she asked.
"During this August holiday we shall be deploying the excess tutors where they are required. Now that we don't have students as we prepare to transit to diploma education in these colleges," Dr Macharia said.
She said some 292 excess tutors will be transferred to other institutions until enrolment improves.
"They will be deployed to institutions where they will be used optimally. Transfers are part of TSC's mandate," she said.
According to TSC, the TTC's have seen a 20 percent decline in the expected enrolment.
"It is worrying. You wonder why they are not attracting students. These enrolments have drastically gone done. But we have asked the principals to give TSC a concept paper within 30 days on why these enrolments are declining and why we have very poor performance," said Dr Nancy Macharia.
Speaking during the ongoing Kenya Teachers Colleges Principals Association (KTCPA) conference in Mombasa, Dr Macharia asked whether enrolment has declined due to the poor performance.
"But when you look at the private colleges, they are doing very well. We would want to know what's going wrong in these colleges so that TSC can support our principals and tutors," she added.
KTCPA chairman Barasa Wafula said the low enrolment is affecting all TTCs.
"We are all set to face all the challenges facing our institutions. TTC's are key in producing teachers who should be able to deliver on the competency-based curriculum (CBC). All the necessary interventions will be made to ensure that all the loopholes are sealed to enable us to deliver," he said.
He said the association will come up with a paper on the issues affecting the colleges, including low enrolment and grades, within 30 days.
Dr Macharia asked the association to come up with resolutions at the end of the conference.