EDITORIAL: Overhaul teacher training

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Reports of mass failure at teacher training colleges make for depressing news at a time when the education sector is going through radical reforms to improve the quality of learning.

Education PS Belio Kipsang’ on Monday revealed that more than 5,000 out of 12,000 trainee teachers had flunked the examination.

That the majority of the failures are in the school-based programme makes the situation worse because it means schools are populated with teachers who are struggling to grasp basic concepts.

Is it any wonder that annual reports measuring the quality of learning, especially in lower primary school, always paint a miserable picture about Standard Four pupils who cannot do elementary mathematics or write their names?

However, the problem can hardly be blamed solely on the quality of the trainees.

The situation calls for a broad investigation that takes into account the credentials of the lecturers, curriculum and state of the colleges with regard to infrastructure.

It is an open secret that the colleges have long been ignored when it comes to reforms — a tragic contradiction because they produce the personnel charged with mentoring children in their formative years.

And even with the admission criteria having been raised to ensure that the colleges attract a higher calibre of students, they still cry out for an overhaul.

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