Primary training abandoned;Briefing;International

5th February 1999 at 00:00

The Government is redeploying all of its 1,800 primary teacher trainers as secondary teachers.

This signals an abandonment of the initial training of primary teachers and the disbanding of all 25 primary teacher training colleges. The colleges did not admit new students last year and are already operating below half their normal capacity of 20,000 students.

The cuts follow World Bank demands that the government increase the pupil:teacher ratio from 32:1 to 40:1 to save money.

Ambrose Adongo, secretary of the Kenya National Union of Teachers, said that instead of disbanding the colleges the government should have used them to strengthen in-service training while pre-service training was suspended.

Currently Kenya has 172,000 teachers for six million pupils in 16,000 primary schools. In the past 10 years, more than two million pupils have had their education terminated at primary level due to lack of facilities. This year, about a quarter of a million pupils missed out on secondary education. Sources at the Ministry of Education said the colleges could have been converted to create an extra 25,000 secondary places.

The future of four diploma- awarding colleges for secondary school teachers is also in doubt.

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