What you should know: The campaign to toss out the Bachelor of Education degree has been gaining momentum since Education CS George Magoha supported the proposal - Kahi Indimuli, Akello Misori and Constantine Wasonga have all spoken over the proposal, 10,000 Kiambu youths to get technical training, and Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani failure to factor in the budget the 2021-2026 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) to cause a stalemate between the teachers and government.
1. Teachers’ new demands to State over ongoing CBA negotiations
In his budget speech in parliament last Thursday, Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani failed to factor in the budget the 2021-2026 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) which will see teachers’ salary increase.
This failure by the National treasury to include the new CBA, according to The Standard is likely to cause a deadlock between the government and teachers as the 2017-2020 CBA expires on June 30.
According to the source, despite the education sector having reaped big in the current financial year, no finances were allocated for the 2021-2026 CBA.
The Ministry of Education received over Sh588 billion for the new financial year budget.
Following delayed negotiations between the Kenya Union of Post Primary Teachers (Kuppet) and the Teachers Service Commission (TSC), the teachers’ union allegedly issued a raft of demands to the government to meet before June 30th.
As per the source, Kuppet Secretary-General Akelo Misori declared that teachers anticipated nothing short of salary increment should pad them against inflation and the burdens of expanded responsibility under the Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC) combined with teacher shortage hitch.
Kuppet demanded from the employer to make a counteroffer to teachers on the memorandum of demands for the 2021-2025 CBA without further delay.
“This demand is made on the understanding that the remaining time to expiry of the current CBA is still sufficient for the two parties to agree,” said Misori.
“The union makes it clear to government organs that not having a new CBA in place by July 1, 2021, would make up gross negligence and abdication on the government’s part,” added the union chairperson as quoted by the source.
2. 10,000 Kiambu youths to get technical training
Kiambu county in partnership with training institutions within the county will register 10,000 youths for technical courses such as hairdressing and beauty, plumbing, masonry, carpentry, tailoring, electronics, catering, and pastry - a move to impart skills to the youth so they can begin income-generating endeavours.
Speaking in Thika town during an expo organised by colleges and universities in Kiambu county, Kiambu Governor James Nyoro said they will enrol 4,500 youths in the 39 vocational training centres while the other 5,500 youths will join technical colleges.
“Most Form 4 leavers who will not join university will be the major beneficiaries of our programme. They will get hands-on skills from the training to give them a competitive edge in the job industry as well as enable them to become job creators,” he said.
According to Nyoro, they will liaise with industries in the county to offer internships and job opportunities to the beneficiaries of the trade fair.
“We have hundreds of industries in Kiambu, especially in Thika. We will reach out to the business fraternity so they can incorporate the youth who will be trained in their businesses as interns or even employees,” he said.
The governor said the programme which targets those hailing from needy backgrounds will help create employment for most youths in the county as well as reduce poverty.
3. To scrap, or not to scrap Education degree, stakeholders weigh in
The campaign to discard the Bachelor of Education course has been gaining momentum since Education CS George Magoha supported the recommendation.
According to Magoha, the proposal is timely as change is inevitable - meaning ‘we have to accept the change because resisting it will cause us more pain.’
The Kenya Secondary School Heads Association (KESSHA) chairperson Kahi Indimuli also supports the proposal which aims at preparing teachers’ public qualities and teaching styles and develop their classroom interaction skills in line with the Competency-Based Curriculum programme.
“As it is, teachers graduate when they do not know what to achieve. The current training is shallow and leaves key aspects such as teaching how to behave like teachers, how to manage your emotions, how to treat male students in the case a teacher is female and vice versa,” said Mr Kahi as quoted by a renowned local news platform.
He thinks that the B.Ed has failed to factor in proper behavioural skills required of a teacher in managing anger among others.
“A teacher is the head of the classroom and his or her role as a model citizen is important. To improve the quality of the teachers graduating from our universities, we must restructure the secondary school teacher training programme to enable the trainees to gain sufficient subject mastery and pedagogy,” Kahi said.
The Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) think education trainees require more practical hours.
“Whereas the Law degree is theoretical, the postgraduate diploma in law is about the professional practice at the bar and also the bench. The proposed postgraduate diploma currently exists but does not produce better teachers,” Akello Misori, the Kuppet chair said to the Star.
University and Academic Staff Union (UASU) secretary-general Constantine Wasonga, on the other hand, says it was not the responsibility of TSC to order universities on the courses to offer - dismisses the proposal as ill-informed.
Wasonga said CUE has plans in place to reform procedures that will employ curriculum review of a course after every five years -“We can channel such changes proposed by the TSC to CUE, which will issue directives to curriculum review committees in universities to adopt the changes."
For Wasonga, scrapping Bachelor of Education training will only complicate things for individuals seeking to pursue teaching.
“Let universities do their mandate of teaching and graduating teachers and let the TSC with the guidance of CUE do their work as they have always done,” he said.
In short, University heads and deans of education propose professional development courses instead of scrapping off B.Ed.
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