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AG stops bid to cut entry grade to teacher colleges




Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Attorney-General Kihara Kariuki has stopped Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed from lowering entry grades to teachers training colleges (TTC), saying it is the mandate of the Teachers Service Commission (TSC).

In an advisory opinion dated November 26, addressed to TSC chief executive Nancy Macharia and copied to Ms Mohamed and Kenya National Qualification Authority (KNQA) director-general Juma Mukhwana, Mr Kariuki said the Cabinet Secretary and the authority had no role in determining the entry grade.

The authority, with blessing of Ms Mohamed, had lowered the entry grade for students seeking to study for diploma in education to C- in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE), down from C+.

Those seeking a certificate in education (known as P1) was cut to D+, down from a C plain, sparking protests from the TSC.

“In view of the foregoing analysis, the commission is by dint of the Constitution the State organ with the constitutional power and mandate to set the minimum qualifications for persons entering the teaching service,” advised Mr Kariuki.

He went on: “This power is encapsulated in the commission’s duty to review the standards of education and training for persons entering the teaching service.

“There is no law that vests the Cabinet secretary or KNQA with power to set such standards and were it to be there, it would be unconstitutional and therefore null and void to the extent of its unconstitutionality.”

The TSC has warned that the lower grade will dilute the quality of students and education.

KNQA cut the grades following a drop in the number of students seeking to join teachers’ training colleges.

Mr Kariuki added that the overall consequence of the analysis is that KNQA regulations, to the extent that they purport to define the minimum qualifications for entry into the teaching service, are void for being in violation of the Constitution.

The decision is a blow to Ms Mohamed and thousands of students admitted to teachers’ training colleges last month using the lower grade.

The TSC had insisted that it would not recognise their training and arising qualifications.

The students had already paid fees.

Ms Mohamed last month lowered the entry grades to TTCs for students from 17 marginalised counties in the country despite protests by the TSC.