Over 300,000 unemployed teachers holding the now-obsolete P1 teaching certificate qualification will be prioritised in future employment, the Teachers Service Commission has said.

TSC, in August, introduced a retraining programme for unemployed teachers with P1 certificates to upgrade to the new nine-month Diploma in Primary Teacher Education to match the current requirement.

The P1 certificate had been in operation for over 50 years.

There were fears that teachers holding the certificate qualification after the upgrade to diploma qualification could be locked out of future employment by the commission.

However, TSC boss Nancy Macharia on Friday said all teachers trained for the P1 certificate courses will be employed despite the policy change.

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“Remember when we were training certificate P1 teachers it was a government policy. All those trained before the policy came in place must be employed and they will not be disadvantaged,” Macharia said.

Macharia was speaking in Naivasha during a media workshop.

The P1 course was designed to facilitate learning in the 8-4-4 system, which is being replaced by the Competency-Based Curriculum.

The government had in September asked unemployed teachers to attend a nine-month retraining programme to advance their certificate qualification to a diploma to be CBC compliant.

TSC in May wanted to have the unemployed teachers upgrade to diploma.

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The change is expected to affect over 300,000 teachers currently qualified and registered by TSC but yet to be absorbed in public employment.

Under the new diploma training, the entry requirements for admission to the teacher training colleges was elevated to a mean grade of C (plain) in KCSE.

Teacher trainees hoping to become primary school teachers need to have scored C (plain) in English, Kiswahili, Mathematics and one humanity and one science subject.

Diploma trainees will specialise in three subjects in the learning areas they wish to focus on.

The areas of specialisation are grouped into four clusters, but teachers will only pick one subject from each category.

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Under the curriculum designs, cluster one subjects are Kenya Sign Language, Indigenous Languages, Foreign Languages (German, French, Arabic and Mandarin (Chinese).

Cluster two subjects are mathematics, home science, agriculture, and science and technology, while cluster three subjects are social studies, and religious education (Christian, Hindu, Islam).

Teachers who choose cluster four subjects will specialise in art and craft, and music. Mandatory subjects include English, Kiswahili, physical and health education, and Kenya Sign Language for the hearing-impaired.

The government hopes the new programmes will enable teacher trainees to acquire the required skills, attitudes and competencies to effectively teach and deliver the CBC curriculum.

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