The national assembly has castigated the teacher’s service commission for rolling out the teacher professional development (TPD) without consulting the teachers. Senators spoke out against mandatory teacher retraining.
On Tuesday, two senators, Taita Taveta's Jonas Mwaruma and Kericho's Christopher Langat, questioned the logic of putting the burden of cost on teachers.
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Instead, they demand that TSC bear the course costs, or that a cost-sharing compromise be reached in the worst-case scenario.
Mwaruma, while introducing the matter in the Senate, stated that it is the sole responsibility of TSC to identify and address capacity gaps in any public service, including teaching.
He stated that the employer's responsibility included budgeting for the total cost of retraining or any other form of capacity building.
He also questioned the criteria used to select the institutions that would conduct the training. “This now leads to several questions that need to be answered. Are these the only institutions that qualify to take the teachers through the retraining? How were they identified?” Mwaruma posed.
TSC announced that the training will take place at four different institutions: Mount Kenya University, Kenyatta University, Riara University, and Kenya Education Management Institute.
The training consists of six modules, each of which contains five topics to be learned over the course of five years. This means that it will take a teacher 30 years to complete the training program.Each topic will be covered for a year, with the cost of each topic in each module set at Sh6,000.
Mwaruma, on the other hand, stated that the refresher course as it is currently packaged "is not only outdated but also unpalatable."
Langat requests that TSC explain the rationale for considering a teacher's performance in the modules as one of the components to be evaluated for promotion in his statement, noting that the training is not a mandatory requirement.
He also sought to determine the level of public participation prior to the policy's implementation Article 232(1)(d) of the Kenyan Constitution of 2010, which requires all government programs and projects go through the public participation process.
Senator Ochillo Ayacko requested that TSC reveal the rewards associated with the retraining process.
“You cannot promote 300,000 people, there are no such positions, so they ought to tell us what are the rewards associated with the positions… that should be told to us and to the teachers so that they are motivated to towards getting trained,” he said.
He claimed that the program could have an impact on family experiences and take away teachers' personal time. Senator Getrude Museruve stated that the TSC must explain the expertise of those who will conduct the training.
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