BY MWANAHABARI REPORTER
Thousands of unemployed teachers who recently returned back to class to study more books following government directive have accused the Ministry of Education and the Teachers Service Commission of wasting their precious time and money.
The teachers – all of who had already graduated from the college – and were busy raising families or building their lives – had their lives disrupted after the government through the teachers’ employer body asked that they go back to school.
Although the government did not make it mandatory – it was obvious that those who fail to attend these classes may never be considered for employment – prompting many to run back to school.
The advertisement released in July 2021 read in part: “This is an upgrading program for the trained teachers in the above category who are not in service. The school based upgrading program to benefit teachers who are in service will be available once the school calendar normalizes.”
Not very good audience
The upgrading programme sought to upgrade students from Certificate (ECDE) and Primary Teachers Education (PTE) to Diploma in Early Childhood Teacher Education (DECTE) and Diploma in Primary Teacher Education (DPTE).
And now – Mwanahabari.co.ke spoke to a number of teacher-students to get a picture of what kind of learning is going on in the colleges – and the feedback what not very encouraging.
Joshua who left his private teaching job in Mombasa said: “This is sad. It is sad that the government can do this to its citizens during a pandemic. I can tell you for free that these people were not prepared in terms of curriculum. There is no learning taking place – and the tutors themselves have no idea what they should be teaching us at this point.”
I can’t wait this to come to an end
Marry-Anne who had to leave her 6-months-old baby to go back to school said: “I am disappointed because they don’t even have a syllabus. All they do is ask us to work in groups – holding endless group discussions yo would think we are some village funeral committee. The students decide what to learn – with the tutors just asking you questions then telling you to go the internet ad google. I can’t wait this to come to an end.
“A friend of mine from a TTC in Nyanza called me on phone and wondered why the government was wasting our time. He wanted to find out if we were being taught any better here in Kisii region. I told him the situation is the same – no proper teaching is taking place,” said another student who did not wish to be named.
No uniform curriculum
According to the students, there is no uniform curriculum being followed since it’s a new thing – and one which was done in a hurry.
“I have a feeling they sent us to school to save the dying TTCs – and probably buy some more time as they wait to employ thousands of unemployed teachers,” noted Jim.
A tutor in one of the colleges – and who asked not to be named – said: “There some little confusion, but we are doing our best to make sure learning goes on. There are no standardized learning materials at the moment – and that’s why we are engaged in research work together with the students who are here.”
The students however – feel that they are being used to help in collecting content which will later be used to develop a workable curriculum.
The question many students are asking themselves is why was the government in a hurry to send them back to school?