Fri. Apr 19th, 2019

Male students turning their backs on the teaching profession

Fewer men compared with women are taking up the teaching profession, a report by the Kenya National Examinations Council (Knec) has shown.

The report states that in the past five years, more female candidates have sat the Primary Teacher Education (PTE) examination compared with their male counterparts.

The report indicates that this year, 17,879 female and 11,651 male candidates sat the PTE tests.

Last year, the tests were done by 13,646 female candidates and 10,402 males.

In 2016, 10,587 female candidates sat the examination compared with 8,555 males, while in 2015, 10,003 candidates were female and 8,656 male.

The report adds that in 2014, 9,410 candidates were female while 7,881 were male.

The PTE examination is administered to teacher trainees at certificate level at the end of a two-year course.

This means that of the more than 290,000 teachers registered by the Teachers Service Commission, the majority are women.


The report, released last week, indicates that public teacher-training colleges have over the years continued to attract more students compared with private colleges.

The report also reveals shocking details on exam failure over the years, with a huge number of the trainees being forced to resit the tests.

Though the colleges register a huge number of students, the report notes that very few score a distinction.

For the past five years, only 105 candidates have scored a distinction out of 109,079 trainees.


This year, out of the 29,530 candidates who sat the examination, only 21 scored a distinction compared with last year’s five candidates.

This year, 266 candidates failed the examinations, meaning they will have to repeat the year.

Another 10,457 will have to resit the examination next year compared with 12,438 candidates who failed last year.

That means that the candidates will have to wait until next year to do supplementary examinations.

The data for the past five years indicates that 2017 had the highest number of candidates who failed at 12,438, 2016 had 6,267, 2015 had 4,358, and 2014 had 2,074.

This year, the Ministry of Education lowered entry grades for teacher-training colleges from C to D+ in order to benefit 17 marginalised counties.

The PTE examination includes 14 subjects that are tested in 21 papers and teaching practice.