The Law Society of Kenya (LSK) President Nelson Havi has promised to challenge the oppressive Teacher Professional Development (TPD) Programme imposed by the Teacher's Service Commission TSC in court.
Havi had claimed that teachers dug their own graves when they replaced Wilson Sossion as the Secretary-General of the Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT).
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"Teachers, you left Wilson Sossion to be fought to exhaustion by the State. KNUT withdrew all cases against the State when you replaced Sossion with a Secretary of ‘your preferred choice’. Please, stop calling me to challenge the directive by TSC that you be trained afresh," Havi tweeted.
On Sunday, Havi said he will take the step for the sake of his late father and my mother, both of whom were great teachers.
"After reflecting on what would have been good for my late father and my mother, both of whom were great teachers, I have changed my mind. I will act for teachers to challenge the oppressive Teacher Professional Development Programme imposed by the TSC. Let us get started."
TSC's launch of TPD modules on Wednesday sparked a debate, with the majority of teachers opposing the plan. The Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) branches have written to secretary-general Akelo Misori on teachers' rejection of Teachers Professional Development (TPD) Modules.
They say that the TPD training is not an emergency and therefore TSC must withdraw it and hold consultative meetings with relevant stakeholders on the best opinions to roll it out if at all it is of any importance.
Whereas teachers agree that TSC TPD is a form of employee Professional Development to address gaps identified by the employer normally through research, the Migori Kuppet branch says it is the responsibility of the employer to plan such training or capacity building programs, identify cost implications and budget as per the projected cost to train her employees including paying for the training units/modules, accommodation, transport, meals and strenuous allowances, Just as it is the case.
The National Executive Board demands that the employer should first recognize and promote all those teachers who have undertaken post-graduate training before rolling out an exercise that is against accepted labour practices.
They say the choice of universities selected is suspicious because no consultation on the choices made was done. Further, if indeed the modules should be carried out then all public universities must be involved.
Those opposed to the modules states that if they are absolutely necessary then the employer should meet the cost of the training.
"That it is totally ridiculous and unacceptance that the programme runs for the entire working lifetime of our teachers. We shall be moving to court should the employer forcefully roll out this training against the wishes of the teachers." Said the Narok branch NEB.
The unions have been blamed for neglecting and misrepresenting the views of the teachers on this matter and have proceeded against the interest of membership to endorse this training without putting into consideration the plight of its members.
The Migori KUPET branch says that NO form of training can be compulsory for all employees including those about to retire. According to TSC, the training programme runs throughout the entire working lifetime of a teacher ( in this case 30years) which is undesirable for any employee.
Mount Kenya University, Kenyatta University, Riara University, and Kenya Education Management Institute have so far been accredited by the commission to carry out the program.
"It Is in the Kenyan government programme to establish a university in every county. The questions that teachers want answers to are; why, therefore, would only 4 universities be selected to offer the training." Read part of a letter from the Migori Kuppet branch.
The four institutions chosen to pioneer teacher re-training have received a massive number of inquiries about TPD. Mount Kenya University has been forced to establish a call centre with 5 attendants to handle the thousands of teachers who have inquired about the new development.
Dr Benson Njoroge, dean of the school of education at the university, told Citizen Digital that over 20,000 teachers had called the institution in the last two days to inquire about when the courses would begin.
“We are planning to roll out the first training before December and enrollment is ongoing. We seek to start with online learning, due to the prevailing challenges of Covid – 19 pandemic,” he said.
“We have already carried out pilot program with about 100 teachers, whereby all stakeholders including the Teachers Service Commission and the Teachers Unions representatives were observers and they gave us a clean, bill of Health.”
Kenyatta University has also reported massive inquiries from teachers from all over the country wanting to know when the training will begin, as over 300,000 teachers compete for the available slots in the four institutions chosen to pioneer teacher re-training.
Kenyatta University, Mount Kenya University, Riara University, and Kenya Education Management Institute (KEMI) have been identified. A teacher will be free to enroll in the TPD modules at any institution of his or her choosing.
The start date will be December 20, 2021, according to TSC. Teacher Professional Development will keep teachers' knowledge, skills, attitudes, and values up to date and encourage teachers' learning communities.
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The new TPD compels teachers to part with about 6 000 shillings every year for a six-year professional training in order to be issued with a professional teaching certificate apart from what they acquired in university.
The teaching certificate will be renewed after every five years. TSC chief executive officer Nancy Macharia said the aim is to make teaching in the country be run and managed like other professions such as law and engineering.
TSC said it will employ innovative assessment strategies such as reflective journals, portfolios and presentations to carry out the program.
At the end of each module teachers who are successful will have their teaching certificates renewed after every five years. TSC says teachers who fail to train will have licences revoked.
TSC Chief Executive Officer Nancy Macharia stated on Wednesday that the move is intended to improve Kenyan teachers' professional standards as well as keep them up to date on emerging trends in the education sector.
TPD, she explained, is a life-long learning program divided into six hierarchical competency levels, with each level taking five years to complete. “At the end of each module, successful teachers will have their teaching certificates renewed after every five years,” she said.
Macharia stated that in order to participate in this program, every teacher registered with the commission will be required to identify and register with one of the accredited service providers. She urged teachers to embrace it, claiming that it benefits them in line with its goals.
In 2016, the Commission implemented Performance Contracting for Institutional Heads and Teacher Performance Appraisal and Development (TPAD) for teachers, with the goal of strengthening curriculum implementation and accountability in resource utilization to improve learning outcomes.
Teacher unions had previously urged the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) to recall the performance appraisal tools, claiming that the exercise had caused teachers anxiety.
There were also concerns that the tool could be used to target teachers for promotion and unfairly blame them for poor performance. Macharia, on the other hand, stated that the quality of education has improved since the implementation of TPAD.
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