Third Eye

Explain policy on teachers’ degree

Thursday, May 27th, 2021 00:00 |
Teachers Service Commission Headquarters. PHOTO: Courtesy

Education is as dynamic as society. The more society grows the more education expands.

With better ways of doing things and discoveries; the need to develop better curricula, efficient research modules, and innovative techniques of passing on information has become urgent.   

In recent years, the government has initiated reforms in the education sector with the aim of developing holistic citizens.

The Ministry of Education has insisted that reforms are necessary to not only align learning with peoples’ needs but also meet expectations of the 21st century.

The most recent undertaking in the sector has been introduced by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC), which seeks to change training of teachers in universities.

The commission has proposed to scrap the Bachelors of Education degree and replace it with Bachelors of Arts or Bachelors of Science qualifications.

In the proposal, those interested in teaching will go back to university after graduating for a post-graduate diploma course in teaching for one year.

TSC has also recommended that minimum qualifications for entry into teaching at all levels be a diploma in Education.

At the same time, admission to all diploma and degree courses in teacher training institutions shall be ‘’demand-driven’’, meaning the number of teachers graduating each year will be controlled.

As has been the experience in the past, the proposals have raised eyebrows. Sceptics wonder whether it is a move to reduce the number of teachers being churned out of universities or whether the current degree course is customised on the 8-4-4 programme that does not address the needs of the new Competency Based Curriculum. 

This means there is need to bring everyone on board for the proposals to be accepted.

TSC needs to outline the thinking behind the changes so that the decision is not viewed as a boardroom edict. Thousands of jobless B.Ed graduates need information on where they stand.

But even as TSC begins to change the training needs of teachers, it should look at international standards.

Teaching degrees have come a long way, moving from classical theoretic textbook studies to applied, interactive, and career-oriented learning.

Teachers can practice at elementary, middle, high school, and university levels, or become experts in special education, vocational education, alternative or online learning.

However, in introducing reforms in the all-critical sector, the constant should be the student who should benefit from a better trained, well-informed teachers. Indeed, reforms should be geared towards benefitting all learners. 

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