Education is the backbone of any nation. It is through education that a country can develop its resources and help it grow economically, politically and socially. Teaching has been identified as one of the most fulfilling professions because it gives you opportunities to make an impact on society by helping others acquire knowledge in various fields.
Teacher training is very important in every education system. It is from here that teachers are equipped with skills and knowledge which are very essential to them and how they handle students. It is also a key component in helping improve the quality of education around the world.
In Kenya, there are many challenges that teachers face every day. This blog post will discuss some of the challenges faced by teacher training colleges in Kenya and potential solutions for overcoming them.
Unqualified teacher educators
One of the challenges that teacher training colleges in Kenya face is not having enough qualified educators to train more future teachers. In order for teacher-training programs to be successful and sustainable, they need trained professionals who teach at the college level as well as practicing professional educators with real work experience.
The solution is to recruit qualified educators from other fields, and train them to become teachers. This could be accomplished by offering professional development programs for already-trained professionals in the field of education who are willing to teach at colleges as well as running training sessions on what it means to have a teaching career that is both sustainable and successful.
TSC is already implementing this solutions as it has moved to scrap the Bachelor’s degree of Education programme which will be replaced by a post graduate diploma of education after a student completes his Bachelor’s degree in Arts or Science.
Lack of enough teacher training colleges
Another challenge is lack of enough teacher training colleges .There are only 25 public teachers colleges and 37 private institutions in Kenya .This is not enough to meet the demand of over 180,000 students yearly.
The government can increase the number of government-funded teacher training colleges by allocating funds from their budget to these institutions. They could also use some of this money for scholarships and grants, which would provide much needed financial assistance to students who are interested in pursuing a career as an educator but do not have enough resources or means to do so.
Lack of quality training for teachers
Training institutions often do not provide the quality of training that is needed to be an effective teacher. More so with the introduction of the new curriculum based on the competence based learning, teachers need to be well-equipped with the skills and knowledge required for this.
The government should implement additional teacher-training programs at universities and colleges across Kenya, which will better prepare students for a career in education as well as improve their qualifications for teaching positions.
This is is another challenge that is faced by Kenya’s students pursuing to be teachers. The curriculum is often outdated and does not align with current trends and developments in the teaching profession.
The government should equip schools with the updated competence based curriculum as well as provide teachers with additional training to help them cope with changes that are taking place due to new innovations in technology, such as a computer-based learning environment.
Delay of deployment to schools
After training, teachers are not deployed to schools immediately. They can even take 5 years and above before TSC hires them and post them to schools. This is mainly due to lack of finances to hire all them at one go.
Parliament should allocate enough finances in the fiscal budget that will be enough to hire teachers who finish their training each year.
Traditional methods of teaching
Students are not exposed to new methods of learning. This is due to lack of exposure and training on how to use new methods that are being deployed by TSC to help teachers be more effective at their jobs.
The government should train not only teachers but also students about these new technologies so they can learn appropriate skills for this century.
The government should also work with stake holders to introduce a blended-learning approach in schools. This will allow students to be exposed to traditional and innovative ways of teaching that are geared towards equipping them with skills needed for an ever changing world.
Lack of enough funding
Resources in teachers colleges are limited. This is due to lack of sufficient funding for the sector from government and other stakeholders. This leads to inadequate equipment and facilities as well as learning materials required to provide quality training for graduates who hope to enter into the teaching profession.
The government needs to allocate more funds to the ministry of education, so that it can train enough teachers and equip them with skills that will ensure they are able to do their jobs well.
Poor teaching practice
Teachers are the most critical factor in the success of a classroom. Their responsibility is to properly instruct and guide students in order for them to become competent learners who are capable of taking on challenges that come with adulthood. However, this has not been happening as teachers have failed to keep up with how children learn in today’s digital era.
This results into poor teaching practices, which include using the same teaching style and curriculum that was used when they were in school.
A lot needs to be done in training teachers on how to teach and what teaching practices are considered effective. Teachers should also be trained on how their roles as educators have changed over time, so they can adapt accordingly and provide students with a more engaging learning experience that is aligned with current demands.
Issues such as alcoholism are a huge challenge faced by the education sector. Alcoholism poses a huge challenge when it comes to finding enough quality teachers who are willing and able to teach students effectively without being distracted or affected.
To address alcoholism, the government needs to strengthen its alcohol policies and promote sober lifestyles. The society should make it possible for workers with drinking problems to get support without fear of discrimination or shame.
Inadequate teaching practice
Getting a teaching practice with good terms is a challenge. Teaching practice is an essential part of teacher training as it provides a stepping stone for new teachers to develop the necessary skills.
A good practice should be based on three components: pedagogy, curriculum and assessment. It is important to have all these aligned with current demands in order to produce qualified teachers who are able to teach effectively.
The government should identify and work with key stakeholders to ensure that teachers get enough quality teaching practice before they are deployed. This will give them a chance of teaching and interacting with students , as well as refining their skills.
Lack of monitoring and evaluation
Monitoring and evaluation of the curriculum is a key component of teaching as it ensures that the content taught by teachers are accurate and up-to-date. Monitoring also helps identify any gaps in curriculum, which can be used to improve what is being taught at school level.
The government needs to set up a system where the progress of teacher training can be monitored. The necessary data should also be collected and analyzed in order to identify how the training is progressing. This will help ensure that teachers are well trained for their task of teaching students.
The government can use a number of tools, such as questionnaires or interviews with trainees, to collect feedback on what they’ve learned during this process.
Lack of proper facilities
Most teacher training colleges are not well equipped. This means that trainees don’t have access to books or equipment they may need during their training period. Some also lack facilities such as libraries, laboratories and computer rooms.
The government needs to provide adequate facilities or allocate more funding to procure such facilities. For example, they may need better laboratories because labs are an essential part of teaching .
Lack of standardization in curriculum
The curriculum in teacher training colleges is not standardized . This means that, even if they have access to books and equipment during their training period, trainees are not guaranteed of learning the same thing.
The ministry of education needs to make sure that they offer a standardized curriculum for all institutions conducting teacher training. This is the main reason TSC has introduced a post graduate teaching diploma and scrapped Bachelor of education degree.
The challenges facing teacher training in Kenya are frustrating, but there is hope for the future.
The Ministry of Education and the Teacher Service Commission have started to take initiative to address these issues by developing a comprehensive curriculum that includes teacher training modules. This has been met with mixed reviews from stakeholders who feel it does not go far enough; however, this still provides some relief as it will provide at least an introduction into what teachers need to know before they enter their profession.
If we can work together towards improving education standards across Africa, then we may be able to make strides on alleviating poverty levels which would benefit everyone involved- including our own citizens.