An Insight into Teacher Education Program in Kenya before the Devolved Government Structure

Scientific Essay 2013 14 Pages

Pedagogy - School System, Educational and School Politics



Who is a teacher in Kenya? What is it like being a teacher in Kenya and what about the history of Teacher Education in Kenya? Teacher and Teacher Education in Kenya forms a very important an essential component of the Kenyan education system. It clearly accounts for the current and future face of the Kenyan child and to sum it all, it influences all aspects of Kenya education, Kenyan developments in morality and even beyond. Just like many countries in Africa, Kenya is a country with diverse ethnicity and ethnic setups with many tribes living with different social cultural upbringing and beliefs and indoctrinations. In Kenya, the teacher and Teacher Education is more often than not influenced by many social, ethnical, political, economic and level technological developments depending on the level of exposure of a particular ethnic group or tribe to the western ideologies and as per what the Kenyan society has undergone. In this paper, I examine and report the emerging issues of Teacher Education in Kenya as influenced by ethnic diversity in relation to the western technological developments. A report on its implications is therefore made here on emerging issues to education, teacher and teacher related developments in this Kenya.

Key Words: Teacher, Teacher Education, Kenyan government, Formal education.

1. Introductory Remarks

The issues investigated and discussed in this paper may appear obvious, general and none consequential because they have not been given the dire attention as they deserve. There is a general tendency to grossly over them even if they have long term damaging effects on the development of the teacher and teacher administration in the Kenyan education programme in general and in particular teaching profession. Kenya takes little interest, just like other developing countries in these issues and this explains why the observed serious under-development and under attention given to these areas. Teacher education is an important component of education since it is through it that school teachers are considered mentors of any society [7].

In normal designs, teacher education is ostensibly designed, developed, administered, monitored and evaluated to produce school teachers for a mature established education system [3]. Its value in humanity has been recognized for a very long time all over the world. Lucas [7] asserts that teacher education is the main pillar of any established education system and the custodian of the culture. In Sessional Paper No. 6 of 1988, the government of Kenya echoed the view that “there is urgent need to develop and promote teacher education programme if the administration of education in the Kenya as a country is to succeed and therefore national development accelerated” [10]. This Sessional Paper summarized the value and role of teacher education for the survival of the Kenyan society through its education system. It regarded teacher education as a single driving force behind Kenya’s development as multi-ethnic society.

This realization explains why emerging nations in Sub-Sahara Africa invest heavily as depicted in their national budgets [10] in education in general and in particular, teacher training education programs from the mid-sixties [13]. This paper examines the development of teacher education in Kenya, the related emerging issues, the implications of these issues to the development of education and teaching profession in this country. This treatment may shed light on the developments in education, teacher education and teaching profession in Kenya this century.

1.1 Teacher Education Development

Examination of education systems from ancient times to to-day reveals elaborate and deliberate practices of teacher education whether informal or formal system of educations. When reviewing and discussing the development of teacher education in Kenya, an highlight of the fact that before the coming of Europeans there existed an elaborate teacher education system in Kenya though in an indigenous and traditional African education systems [2].

It was informal in the sense of comparing it to the Western European education system. This system produced competent teachers who sustained the African indigenous and traditional education systems [1]. Africa and Kenya in particular did not have documentation procedures. Since these practices of teacher education were not properly documented and there is not record, this paper will report the historical perspective of the formal Western-European Teacher Education programme in Kenya since colonial era [11] and back to about 1900. Teacher Education has always been an important component of societal education since time immemorial [6]. This is because all societies in the world have always needed teachers to propagate cultural values [11] from one generation to another.

1.1.1 Introduction of Formal education

The European Christian Missionaries introduced formal teacher education in Kenya in the mid-nineteenth century [5] that was patterned according to the Western-European and Canadian established teacher education system modules of the early nineteenth century. The unplanned need of schools, rapid expansion of the “mission” and “bush” schools necessitated the need to establish teacher education as a carrier at the time [1] called for an equally sharp increase in the supply of teachers to work in the newly established schools. There was also a need to produce school teachers to relieve missionaries who were required to concentrate on missionary and evangelization work and thus become managers vis colonizers.

The established mission and “bush” schools were Primary (Classes B and A, and Standards I - IV) schools and intermediate (Standards V – VIII) schools. These institutions needed Primary school teachers and as a consequence therefore, they designed teacher education programme to cater mainly for Primary School leavers [9] from the level of Standard Three to Eight (Standard III – VIII ) to become teachers. Most of the teacher-trainees were of low academic qualifications although for that period in time, they were the most well educated individuals in Kenya.


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insight teacher education programme kenya devolved government structure



Title: An Insight into Teacher Education Program in Kenya before the Devolved Government Structure