The Teachers Service Commission has ruled out the promotion of primary school teachers to secondary schools under the new curriculum.
The commission says teachers will only be certified to teach in secondary schools through attaining a Grade C+ (plus) in KCSE examinations.
TSC deputy director of staffing Antonina Lentoijoni said teachers who do not achieve a mean grade of C+ in KSCE will not be allowed to teach in secondary schools even if they, later on, obtained degrees.
Lentoijoni spoke in Mombasa during the Kenya Primary Schools Heads Association’s annual conference.
She said all secondary school teachers would be restricted to teaching subjects for which they obtained a C+ or higher grade in KSCE.
“They would only be permitted to teach subjects which they attained C+ or higher grade, this will go a long way to improve the quality of education,” she said.
Despite criticism, Lentoijoni said although the high qualification requirements were unpopular with teachers, she said it would improve education standards.
Lentoijoni said the commission raised the bar to improve education quality in response to new social and societal challenges.
“TSC has raised the entry point of teaching to have the right kind of people to offer quality education to our children,” she said.
Knut secretary general Collins Oyuu suggested that primary school teachers are allowed to teach Grade 7 and 8 in Junior secondary because several of them have a masters degree.
However, the new decision bars them from teaching secondary school since they obtained grade C-(minus) or C in KCSE.
However, Lentoijoni said any teacher who wishes to teach in secondary schools must now have C+ or higher grade.
The decision leaves those who obtained their degrees through diploma certificates in dilemma.
Teachers with TSC approved qualifications, according to Lentoijoni are the right kind of people to ensure quality education for children.
She said the TSC has trained 28,000 teachers in the last few years to address the issues of tutor shortages.
The TSC official thanked the government for its continued response to the country’s teacher shortage.
“There is some relief from the teacher’s shortage problem, We have embraced a new system of teacher recruitment by first engaging those who wanted to be teachers as interns who were then assigned to experienced teachers for mentorship. We will lobby for more money to recruit more teachers,” she said.
In the past, the TSC ignored pleas from arid Northeastern leaders region who have repeatedly called on the commission to lower entry grades for those in the teacher-scarce region.
Former Education CS Amina Mohamed tried the same but was overruled by a Kenyan court in the argument that the entry requirement lies with TSC.