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Education News Making Headlines This Saturday 22nd

What you should know: Training of diploma teachers to start in June, How 7 graduates rose above cash issues to set up poultry empire, Dons excel as TV political pundits, ignore rot in universities.

1. Training of diploma teachers to start in June

The government has completed the selection process for about 1,000 new diploma teachers and training is expected to commence on 2 June.

According to Saturday Standard, only Machakos, Thogoto, Baringo, Egoji, Migori and Shanzu Teacher Training Colleges will receive students for the three-year training programme under the new tuition regime for Diploma in Primary Teacher Education (DPTE) to anchor the Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC).

The six TTCs have been allocated between 150 to 200 students each to begin, while the rest of the colleges will get students during the second intake in September. 

The first term of the training will take 14 weeks thereafter a regular calendar of training will follow.

As revealed by the source, Education CS George Magoha said intake will be in two phases - the 2020 KCSE candidates will have the chance to apply for the diploma teaching programme for September intake.

“Some students will report on Monday next week while the rest will start in June,” said one of the shortlisted students as quoted by the source.

According to Prof Magoha, this category of teachers will be trained specifically on how to teach pupils under the CBC program.

The source further reveals that plans are underway to upgrade the present P1 teachers already in service and those unemployed.

Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) Director Charles Ongondo said last week that teacher education designs are ready for the diploma training and that the P1 teachers will be given a chance, virtually and in-person to upgrade.

“We are developing a diploma programme for them and that may be school-based or virtually. But we shall communicate in good time,” said Prof Ongondo.

2. Dons excel as TV political pundits, ignore rot in varieties

Most university dons have become famous for appearing on live TV sessions as experts on political matters, locusts invasion, Israel-Palestine conflicts but they have failed to address issues relating to academia - Dr Wesonga, a lecturer in Literature at the University of Kabianga in Kericho argues in his article published by The Standard.

Wesonga says they need to spare some time and talk in sounding learned on problems in their professions.

According to Wesonga, the University dons would brag about how their many years of being university tutors have allowed them to gain knowledge on a variety of issues, yet they have remained silent when it comes to issues affecting higher institutions of learning.

He says it is not wrong for a professor to know many things in various fields but he would highly appreciate it if they would talk to address problems afflicting universities and colleges.

“This disengagement not to discuss issues in the education sector by these crucial players must because for alarm,” he says. “Although UASU, the dons’ union has had a hesitant engagement on the matters, the voice of the regular don has been missing.”To him, it’s because of this that issues of financing in university education and relevance of training regime relative to the needs of the job market have been a talk in the town.

“In the last ten years, we have seen universities that lack hospitals or labs for practicals offering medical or engineering courses,” Wesonga says.

He asserts that Universities and students stand at a great disadvantage should the problems in higher education not be addressed.

“In some cases, students have graduated with degrees only to be denied accreditation by professional bodies because their training did not meet the threshold.”

The writer concludes by acknowledging that they have kept quiet, sometimes because they are angling for positions in some of these mushrooming campuses. “We have failed to see how we turned ourselves into an opportunity cost and the interests of the dons have been overlooked by university managements in favour of seemingly more pressing issues,” he writes.

3. How 7 graduates rose above cash issues to set up poultry empire

Seven graduates from Ebubole village in Mumias East subcounty, Kakamega, found themselves in a tight corner after completing their studies at the university.

They include Josephine Wanzala, Isaac Lumbasi, Wycliffe Lubale James Ndege, a graduate from Kenyatta University in Dryland Agriculture and Enterprise Development, Nicholas Ambembe with a degree in General Agriculture from Egerton University, Rose Okello with a degree in Statistics and Programming and Penninah Ocholla with a degree in Finance.

They combined forces and formed Terry Agri centre, a self-help group, and started table banking in 2018 because they were tired of being seen as a burden by their family.

As shared by The Standard, each contributed Sh500 every week from the menial jobs they did and after 10 months, they had saved a total of Sh140, 000 for a start.

Later, Rose, Nicholas and Penninah secured well-paying jobs which allowed them to secure a loan of Sh250,000, each totalling Sh750,000  by attaching their payslips.

“We used the money to buy two pieces of land in Kakamega Central and Mumias East at a cost of Sh500, 000 and Sh350, 000 respectively. The plots were half an acre each. After securing the plots, we decided to try a hand in poultry farming as we shared a common passion in the same,” says Ndege as quoted by the source.

In 2019, they agreed to start a joint poultry project in as much as they were coming from different geographical locations as in the source.

They put up a makeshift structure in Ebubole village in Mumias East where they had bought one of the plots and started with 250-improved Kienyeji chicken that was two weeks old - says Ndege, who according to the source now manages the project because of his good knowledge in agriculture.

“We bought the chicks from Engokho poultry farm in Bungoma for Sh150 per chick totalling Sh37,500. After three months, we sold them to leading hotels in Kakamega and Mumias towns at a cost of Sh450 each and got Sh112,500,” explains Ndege.

As explained by the source the team used the money to buy 1,000-day-old chicks (all layers) at Sh100 each and the balance used to buy feeds.

Ndege reveals that they also took part of their savings and bought additional 500-day-old chicks which they kept specifically for meat.

Their market places were events like weddings, funerals and birthday parties where they sold most of the birds, though according to Ndege this attracted low-profit margins.

“On day one, we gave the chicks Marex vaccine and at seven days old, we administered gumboro vaccine and on day 14 we gave them the Newcastle vaccine. At three weeks we repeated Gumboon and then Newcastle vaccine at week four,” says Ndege, a way to boost the survival of the birds.

“The first five months is not a walk in the park. You spend from your pocket. Our savings were almost drying up but when they started hatching eggs, we got relief as we used part of the money to buy the feeds.” He says as quoted by The Standard.

According to Ndenge, they would collect between 700 and 820 eggs daily totalling about 19,200 eggs a month. They would hatch three-quarters of the eggs and then sell the remaining to locals at Sh25 each since they were fertilised eggs.

In as much as Covid 19 affected them, Terry Agri Centre now has almost 4,000 birds in different stages.

Content created and supplied by: J.Arness (via Opera News )

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