Shortage of teachers threatens CBC progress

Barrack Odero

By Barrack Odero

The main goals of the newly introduced Education system in Kenya — a competency-based curriculum (CBC) — are quite good on paper but faced with a lot of challenges on the ground.

It is true that the Government has discovered that the current education system – 8.4.4 which is being phased out has not done a lot towards addressing the issue of placement of those who have graduated from our learning institutions.

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But the major question everyone poses is who has not played their roles effectively.

What has created these loopholes of chronic unemployment of our youths?

The 8.4.4 system had smooth takeoff because it found when Primary Teachers’ Colleges had already an ongoing curriculum training teachers on those subjects that were treated as practical though not tested nationally.

Those teachers had been trained in Music, Art, Craft, Agriculture and Physical Education among others.

That implied that pupils who were to transit to Class 8 as the pioneers of the system already had relevant personnel to effectively handle those Subjects which were shortly to be examined at National level.

This is not the case with CBC.

Parents are treated to dramas in schools where their Junior Secondary School (JSS) children are domiciling.

These learners are going without being attended to in some key subject areas due to lack of staff shortage.

The Government has left these children in the hands of God to determine their educational fate.

In fact teachers in the Primary Schools where those JSS are deliberately sabotaging the operations of those classes because of their profilement by Government as not academically fit to teach those classes.

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The Government through Teachers’ Service Commission (TSC) are upto now not able to employ relevant teachers to effectively handle all the Subjects covered by this curriculum.

It will be deceitful to assume that a graduate of B/Ed Science due to shortage of staff can effectively switch to teaching Music or to be specific performing Art in the Junior Secondary level without prerequisite background .

The same applies to teachers of humanities.

These teachers are forced by the same circumstances to teach subjects like Agriculture which they trained in.

The pioneers of this system will therefore miss the target of the Career Path choices which is its main goal.

The Government should therefore think of ways to address the apathy of teachers’ shortage in our schools by employing more teachers.

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