Confusion has hit teacher’s training colleges across the country on which grade to use in admitting new students as the Ministry of Education and the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) pull in different directions on the issue.
A number of private teachers training colleges are already admitting students with grade D as advised by Kenya National Qualifications Authority (KNQA) while public teacher’s colleges have only admitted those with grade C as they await further directive from the Ministry of Education.
However, those being admitted with the lower grade are at risk of losing their money in case TSC emerges the winner in this contest since the trainees will not be able to sit for examinations that is usually administered by Kenya National Examinations Council (Knec).
TSC has also hinted that it will not register such teachers with lower qualifications after their graduation insisting that the minimum entry grade is C.
The authority in June this year recommended that the minimum admission requirement for a diploma course is grade C minus in Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education while that of a certificate course is grade D.
The regulations were gazetted by Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed the same month.
A meeting called to resolve the issue last week did not take place as TSC commissioners and their Chief Executive Officer Nancy Macharia were in Naivasha for a meeting with Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut).
The meeting had been called by the Ministry of Education to agree on an entry grade for the second selection of trainees to the colleges this October.
This is because next year, there will be no certificate courses commonly referred to as P1 instead it will be a diploma programme.
On Thursday, KNQA asked colleges to admit students using the new entry grade and dismissed any meeting with TSC on the issue.
The authority hit out at TSC for taking over the regulatory role yet it is an employer.
Ms Mohamed on Tuesday while appearing before National Assembly’s Education Committee defended the decision to lower the grade saying it will ensure that students in marginalised areas join teachers’ colleges.
Her remarks attracted mixed reactions from committee members who directed that she prepares a policy paper on the issue.
Thursday, the Kenya Teachers’ Colleges Principals’ Association chairman Saul Barasa, said they will wait for a communication from the ministry before admitting trainees with the new grade.
“We are waiting for the controversy over the new grade to be resolved before we can admit new students,” said Mr Barasa.