Over 1,400 students from 17 marginalised regions, who have low academic grades, have been enrolled to teacher training colleges through the affirmative programme.
Elyas Abdi, Director-General of the State Department of Early Learning and Basic Education, said they targeted these communities, nomadic ones in particular, to boost the number of teachers there due to a shortage.
Speaking at St Marks Kigari Teachers College during the institution’s 81st graduation ceremony, Mr Abdi noted teacher-training colleges posted lower numbers of students.
He added that enrollment in the 27 colleges countrywide had declined sharply over the years, from 21,894 in 2017 to the current 18,795.
Mr Abdi said the move to lower entry grades in some areas would help address the problem, which has also affected revenue generation in teacher training colleges.
He said most students with C+s preferred to join universities.
Some institutions have struggled to take part in extracurricular activities due to insufficient funds.
“The move to lower the entry grade will provide an opportunity for candidates from hard-to-reach areas to access training and alleviate the teacher shortage in the 17 counties,” he said on Saturday.
Mr Abdi also announced that they were investigating why many students in TTCs have been failing in particular subjects for the sake of a solution.
Kigari TTC Principal James Muguna said the mean score per subject improved from 54 percent the previous year to 72.4 percent
He raised concerns about dwindling enrollment over the years, from highs of 2,000 years back to the current 844 at Kigari.
“Very few school leavers are interested in teaching. This problem can be addressed through a change of policy from P1 to diploma courses, opening up the employment of teachers upon graduation and sponsoring training," he said.
During the ceremony, 409 women and 234 men were awarded P1 certificates.