Analysis of selected government policies on primary Teacher Education in Kenya. challenges and prospective
The main purpose of this study was to make an analysis of selected government policies on primary teacher education in Kenya and to examine pertinent challenges and prospects to the teacher training programmes arising from these policies. The study sought to fulfill six main objectives namely:- to find out how teacher trainees’ calibre in terms of grades scored at ‘O’ level affect the quality of PTE; to establish how teacher training Curriculum affects PTE; To find out how teacher trainers’ skills affects PTE; to find out how financial resources and teacher training facilities affect the quality of PTE; to establish how primary teacher employment policy affects the quality of PTE and finally to establish how policy formulation and implementation affects the quality of PTE. The research study was guided by research questions, which were relevant to the objectives of the study. Literature review of the study covered its historical background, examined the existing government policy on some of the aspects of PTE including, the calibre of teacher trainees, primary teacher education curriculum, calibre of teacher trainers, financing of PTE, teacher training resources, employment policy of PTTC graduates as well as governance and change management in PTTCs. Literature review indicated that while there exists various legal instruments governing various aspects of PTE, the country does not have a comprehensive policy on education. Similarly, literature review indicated that challenges exist in PTE in respect to the calibre of teacher trainees, PTE Curriculum, calibre of teacher trainers, funding and teacher training facilities, employment of PTTC graduates as well as in issues of governance of PTTCs. The target population of the study was confined to the key stakeholders in PTE including senior officers of the MOES & T, principals, lecturers and teacher trainees in both private and public teacher training colleges. The data was collected through questionnaires, interviews and focussed group discussion. These instruments had been pre-tested with members of the target population and were approved as valid by experts before being administered in the field. Based on the study data, the following were the findings of the study:-that the calibre of primary teacher trainees in terms of grades scored at ‘O' level is not adequate; that the current PTE curriculum is too broad and cannot be effectively covered within the two-year training period; that over 90% of teacher trainers are not trained to handle PTE; that the available financial resources and teacher training facilities are not adequate and thus adversely affect PTE; that lack of guaranteed employment opportunities for PTTC graduates tended to demotivate teacher trainees and thus adversely affects PTE and that lack of comprehensive policy formulations and implementation guidelines has affected the quality of PTE. Drawing from its findings, the study recommended:- that the calibre of teacher trainees should be reviewed upwards to a minimum of grade c+ with mandatory passes in Mathematics, Science, Kiswahili and English; that the PTE curriculum requires urgent overhaul in respect to its structure, content and scope and should also be properly harmonized and coordinated; that deliberate effort should be made to produce teachers who are specifically trained to cater for PTE unlike is the case at the moment; that the government should ensure that funds are available to refurbish PTTCs in respect to teaching learning resources and transport; that the government should also ensure harmonization of supply and demand for teachers to provide PTTC graduates employment upon completion of training and finally that the government should also address the issues of PTE policy formulation and implementation and involve all the stakeholders in the process.