Unions split over grade D qualification for teachers

Unions split over grade D qualification for teachers

Teachers’ unions are divided over Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed’s directive lowering entry grades for marginalised students who wish to join teacher training colleges.

While the Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) has supported the decision, the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) says it will go to court to challenge the directive.

The lowering of entry grade applies to candidates from 15 counties seeking to join teacher training colleges. Those seeking a certificate known as a P1 will need a D+ down from a C plain, while entry grades for those joining diploma colleges have been lowered to C-minus.

Sossion has been advocating for the training and recruitment of teachers from the North Eastern region, following a series of attacks on non-local teachers that have seen about 3000 teachers flee from Mandera, Wajir and Garissa since 2013.

The International Labour Organisation standards require that every community also must be assisted to train their own teachers.

Education CS Amina Mohammed has maintained that the Constitution allows for affirmative action programmes designed to ensure that minorities and other marginalized groups are provided with special educational and economic opportunities.

The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) had rejected a similar recommendation by Kenya National Qualification Authority to lower the entry grades.

TSC instead proposes that some 295,000 trained teachers who are yet to be absorbed should be posted to the marginalised areas.