The Principal Secretary (PS) for Education, Dr. Belio Kipsang has challenged educationists managing teacher education institutions to incorporate values and ethics in the training programmes for teachers.
Dr.Kipsang said that society should be able to trust teachers to supervise national examinations and not have security around them to guard against examinations malpractices of students they teach.
He said teachers of yesteryears did not know where examinations came from and where they were taken to after students had done them.
All teachers did was to teach and administer examinations with honor and trust, the PS said.
Dr. Kipsang made the remarks during the Kenya Teachers Colleges Principals Annual Conference in a Mombasa Hotel today. He was flanked by the Chairman of the Kenya Teacher’s Colleges Principals Association, Saul Barasa and a Deputy Director in the Department of Teacher Education, Ms. Anne Wanja Ekubo.
He said the role of the teacher is to identify and nurture the abilities and talents of learners noting that the happiness of the teacher lies in seeing a learner achieve his potential.
He said society should be able to trust a teacher to teach and supervise the assessment of learners the way it trusts Doctors with patients in a theater.
He said the classroom is the equivalent of theater of the teacher and he should earn the trust of the society to teach and assess the learner without having a policeman around him.
“As we train our teachers, let us not forget to instill values that will enable them to teach all students in all communities in this country,” Dr. Kipsang observed.
He challenged the managers of Teachers” Training Colleges to improve the quality of training programmes to ensure people joining the teaching profession had the requisite knowledge and professional ability to give quality instruction to learners.
“The quality of education in any country is as good as the teacher,” Dr. Kipsang noted.
In the same breath, Dr. Kipsang added, the quality of the teacher is as good as the quality of education and training he had in teacher education institutions.
He said while instructional materials were important to the education of learners, the learners depends on the teacher to make the best use of the materials.
On the minimum entry qualifications into teacher training colleges, Dr. Kipsang said that quality of training of the teacher in teacher preparation institutions was crucial to ensuring that the people who get into school have the best education and training to be able to teach school.
“It is about how we training the teacher,” Dr. Kipsang noted.
The PS said other than mastery of the subject matter, training institutions should ensure that teachers should be able to recognize a child’s cognitive development, demonstrate competencies in child and adolescent development, be able to recognize talents in children, among others.
“Teaching and learning must be child-centered as opposed to teacher-centered for us to be able to bring out the hidden potential of each and every child,” Dr. Kipsang noted.
Barasa underscored the importance of the Principals meeting and sharing experiences saying the challenge of Enhancing Quality in Teacher Education, which is the theme of the conference, was and should be the concern of all teacher training colleges, be they public or private.