Kuppet Official Explains Why Teachers Reject TPD Module, Says There Is Need To Repeal And Ammend Some Sections Of TSC Act
The Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers has opposed the teacher professional development (TPD) program training that requires them to renew professional certificates every five years.
KUPPET Executive Secretary for Nairobi County Branch Moses Mbora says teachers are opposed to the module due to the manner in which it has been intended to be rolled out.
"It has been made mandatory there was no consultation that was done, it shall require that teachers pay for it and these teachers who shall be required to pay for this training are teachers who have just been subjected to a Collective Bargaining Agreement that did not have monetary value." Said Mbora.
Despite that, Mbora says that some of these teachers have stayed in the same job group for between 10 and 20 years and have never been promoted by the same employer and therefore teachers are questioning how they will fund the training.
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"Apart from that all professional development courses are usually paid for by the employer. It is going to be the first time for such a program to be paid for by the employee himself or herself." Said Mbora during a live interview with KTN News on Monday.
The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) chief executive officer Nancy Macharia said the rollout of TPD is aimed at improving the professional standards of Kenyan teachers and at the end of this module successful teachers will have their teaching certificates renewed after every five years.
Mbora says TSC should go back to the drawing board saying that KUPPET was not involved in the initial TPD plan.
"KUPPET was only invited to be informed last week on Wednesday that is 22nd of September that the program was going to be rolled out." Says Mbora adding that Nairobi teachers have rejected it.
Mbora says questions asked in the T-pad component of self-evaluation "is a tool that has already been predetermined" and teachers cannot change and write what they desire and therefore cannot be regarded as
participatory in the way the decision was made to have the teacher professional development planned for.
On the issue of renewal of teaching certificates, Mbora said teachers are permanently and pensionable employees posing a question to TSC to explain whether renewal of certificates would mean a fresh renewal of the contract and how the pension will be calculated.
The commission said that TPD programs will be conducted during the holidays. Mbora says TPD mandatory training would risk the fate of teachers who attend sports, national examination marking, drama and music festivals and other national assignments during holidays as they may be denied the certificate to practice after some years because they never completed the course.
Mount Kenya University, Kenyatta University, Kenya Education Management Institute (KEMI) and Riara university have already been pre-selected to offer this mandatory program.
He says TSC has not addressed how the four institutions will be able to accommodate over 340,000 teachers in a pandemic period. It takes a teacher eight years in primary, four years in secondary and four years in university.
Therefore, it takes about 15 years to get a teaching certificate in Kenya. Mbora says it will be ridiculous to subject a teacher to 30 years of learning.
"And then this comes after the teachers have been labelled as unskilled and semi-skilled and yet teachers come out of their training institutions as professionals."
Mbora says in places including Public Service Commission where people are taken through continuous professional development, courses take four or even six weeks and are awarded certificates which give them upper hands during promotion interviews and determine their salary increments.
He wondered why the commission wants to subject teachers for 30 years of learning to earn professional recognition yet teachers have PhDs and masters, while primary teachers have degrees that TSC refused to recognize.
There Is Need To Repeal And Ammend Some Sections Of TSC Act
The Nairobi County Branch executive secretary said there is a need for social dialogue in KUPPET to interrogate some areas of law policy and regulations that make a teacher's work environment hostile such as section 42 of the code of regulation for teachers.
The code talks about mandatory teacher professional development but does not address payment. Other sections that need to be interrogated according to Mboara includes section 47, 237 and 3 which gives TSC the mandate to regulate teaching as a profession
He said the Nairobi Kuppet Branch shall seek clear interpretation on how this shall be done but that and even consider presenting a petition to parliament to have section 47 of the TSC act repealed or amended.
"We can also have the code of regulations for teachers section 42 amended, we can also marshal the support of members of parliament to enable section 237 of the constitution to be amended if it doesn't require a referendum." Said Mbora during the interview.
He said teachers should have laws that protect them in their work environment.
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