The Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (KUCCPS) has completed the placement plan for the first cohort of diploma teacher trainees to 32 public Teacher Training Colleges (TTCs).
Mercy Wahome, Chief Executive Officer of KUCCPS, stated that the placement agency has developed a watertight automated admission system that will ensure all qualified applicants, including those who will take the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) in March, are placed.
She was speaking at Thogoto Teachers Training College during a two-day sensitization meeting with college principals.
Following the Ministry of Education’s decision to transfer the mandate to the agency, this will be the first time KUCCPs will place students in TTCs.
Dr Wahome outlined the admissions process for the second batch of students who will join the institution to pursue training under the Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC).
She stated that the crucial meeting – the first between KUCCPS and the Teachers Training Colleges (TTCs) – was a significant step forward in the agency’s preparations for the selection of primary school teacher trainees.
Students interested in teaching courses will be able to apply for placement in colleges for the first time through the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (KUCCPS).
In accordance with the change in minimum qualifications from Teacher Training Colleges (TTCs) from certificates to diplomas, the Ministry of Education granted KUCCPS the authority to admit students through its centralised placement system.
‘‘Under the arrangement, all colleges will be required to upload their programmes and declare their capacities on the KUCCPS portal for students to apply so that as we move with the process,’’ Wahome said.
The next round of placements will target secondary school graduates between the years 2000 and 2021.
Until last year, the Ministry of Education was in charge of recruiting students for enrollment in public primary TTCs.
The centralized system at KUCCPS places students in courses that require a diploma as a minimum qualification. Universities, TVETS colleges, and secondary teacher training colleges in Kibabii, Kagumo, and Lugari are among the institutions covered by the State agency.
“Placement for all diploma students is a KUCCPS mandate and so the changes are in line with the upgrade of the minimum qualification grade from certificate to diploma,” Margaret Muandale, Director Teacher Education Ministry of Education said yesterday.
Kenya eliminated the P1 certificate course last year in favor of a Diploma in Primary Education for primary-level teachers and Early Childhood Development Teacher Education diploma programs for Pre-primary 1 and Pre-primary 2 educators.
The changes are in line with the implementation of the Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC), as the state works to ensure the quality of the new system’s delivery.
The entry requirement for the Diploma of Primary Education and ECDE programs has been raised to Grade C (plain) in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examination or its equivalent as certified by the Kenya National Examinations Council (Knec).
However, the elimination of the certificate qualification from TTIs comes at a time when the number of students enrolled in their first, second, and third years of diploma courses has been decreasing over the last five years.
According to Kenya National Bureau of Statistics data, the number of students pursuing a diploma in teaching fell from 2,640 in 2016 to 1,218 two years ago.
Students who enroll in KUCCPS will also be eligible for Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) funding for tuition and housing for the first time.
Students in teaching institutions are the only ones in higher education who do not receive State funding through HELB.
Elyas Abdi, Director General of the Ministry of Education, expressed confidence that KUCCPS would complete its mission.
Principals and their curriculum deans were educated on the KUCCPs mandate, how to navigate the KUCCPS portals, course validation, and placement processes during the workshop.
They were also shown how to upload programs and capacities to the KUCCPS database, and they were given information on application processing and inter-institutional transfers.
Other education stakeholders present at the meeting included the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) and the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD), in addition to the Ministry of Education.