Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed has hinted at a future crisis in schools due to low enrolment in teachers' training colleges as the ministry plans to phase out certificate courses.
Ms Mohamed said few students are interested in joining the teaching profession, yet the government is investing a lot of resources in the sector.
"We have to address this issue or else we will fail to get secondary and primary school teachers in future," she said during a stakeholders workshop on Wednesday.
The workshop was organised to sensitize universities and technical and vocational education training institutions on the new qualification framework policy.
The certificate course for primary school teachers will be replaced by a diploma course, which is expected to attract the A grade as a qualification in order to put the profession at par with others.
Trainees seeking to undertake the two-year course are required to have obtained a C-plain and above in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education examination.
"We are phasing out P1 teachers. Those joining next year will not study for certificate but diploma," she said.
The Teachers Service Commission indicates there are 295,000 teachers yet to be employed.
And the number of recruits has declined due to poor performance in the KCSE.
Consequently, colleges offering diploma courses are now wooing candidates who sat the examination before 2016.
Basic Education Principal Secretary Belio Kipsang said that last year the government projected to get 10,735 applications, but only 9,349 applied to join primary teachers' colleges.
The ministry had further targeted 786 trainees to join diploma colleges but only 650 applied.
Kenya Teachers Colleges Association chairman James Wachaga warned that unless the situation is addressed, college facilities will go to waste.
"We have no students to admit and most colleges now have empty spaces. We relied on students who sat their exams in 2015 and before," he said.
Mr Wachaga observed that some colleges only managed to enrol a few male students with the majority of applicants being female.
Kenya Universities Colleges Central Placement Service (KUCCPS) chief executive John Muraguri said most students prefer courses such as medicine.
Recruitment for this year started in May and it’s expected to be concluded this month before learning resumes in September.