Education CS has no power to lower teacher qualification, says AG
Attorney General Paul Kihara has overruled Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed’s move to lower the entry point for teacher training to grade D+.
According to the AG, the constitutional power to set qualifications for entry into the teaching profession is vested in the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) and not the Cabinet Secretary for Education or Kenya National Qualifications Authority (KNQA).
“The Teachers Service Commission is, by dint of the Constitution, the State organ with the constitutional power and mandate to set the minimum qualifications for persons entering the teachers service,” said the AG in a letter to TSC CEO Nancy Macharia.
In September this year, CS Amina announced that learners from marginalised regions would require grade D+ and others C- to pursue a certificate and diploma in Education.
Amina’s announcement was opposed by a section of Education stakeholders including the Teachers Service Commission that argued that lowering the minimum grade for entry into the teaching profession would affect the quality of education.
However, according to the Education CS, lowering the grade was based on the need to attain the constitutional imperatives of affirmative action, and safeguarding the right to access basic education and non-discrimination as well as protect the marginalised.
She asserted that the quality of education would not be affected by lowering the grades.
The Attorney General’s indulgence in the matter comes after TSC wrote to the State Law office seeking opinion on among other issues whether the Education CS has the mandate to set qualifications for persons entering the teaching service.
In noting that the buck stops with TSC in setting of teacher qualifications, the Attorney General cited Article 233(3)a of the Constitution, which mandates the Commission to “review the standards of education and training of persons entering the teaching service.”