Debate On TPD Gains Momentum as teachers threaten to protest
The newly established refresher course training for teachers (TPD) continues to create discomfort among the over 340 000 teachers across the country
The lessons that will require them to dig deep into their pockets have seen a number of them rejecting its existence and terming the program as definite torture.
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This came after a section of teachers from the Kenya national union of
teachers (KNUT) North Rift branch now claiming that the Teachers Service Commission’s deaf ear will see them head to the streets to vent out their frustrations
“Three hundred thousand teachers paying six thousand shillings that is about 1.8 trillion shillings that is being given out to colleges to teach us things that we know.
“About a month ago our employer (TSC) was in parliament and she told parliament teachers are well trained for CBC. Everybody knows that, now they are turning and saying we are unskilled.”
“We are not opposing teachers on the issue of TPD, in fact, it is welcomed
within ourselves but the manner in which the employer wants to implement it kind of raises some eyebrows. If we have to be trained let us be trained when the schools are still on because over the holidays or during the holidays we have children and also parents. We have children in boarding schools we want them to come home and get guidance from their parents because as much as we are teachers we also parents.” said the teachers.
The Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) has officially announced its support for mandatory retraining of teachers despite strong opposition from teachers.
Collins Oyuu, the secretary-general of Knut, reiterated the importance of employer training and development noting that many false claims have surrounded the recently launched program.
The Teacher Professional Development (TPD) module will see teachers go through at least 30-year of training.
“In fact, teachers are just trying to complain just like any other
person. Nobody doesn’t know the effects of COVID-19 on even individuals let alone organizations. So if that is what they’re raising give
us time to address it. But it cannot be a reason to stand up and say
we are not going to pay. Not going to do is not a way of negotiating
let them allow us to address it and I’m sure we shall address it to the
best of their satisfaction, said KNUT SG Oyuu.
Oyuu who is so slow to the straight talk in addressing teachers issues has also faltered the teachers for being too quick to put a blemish spot on the
process yet they endorsed it unknowingly.
“What we don’t want our teachers to do is to take the whole thing by themselves. Let us look for the correct channel of addressing these issues and I said even as we picked this office to run it. It shall not help anybody standing outside there and making a lot of noise on issues that are very important. We must sit back and address them with the harmony that is actually.” Said Oyuu.
The refresher courses will be a requirement for teachers and will enable
them to renew their practising certificate every five years. Teachers
will be required to take one module over a five-year period with those starting out their teaching careers now expected to complete five modules over a thirty-year period.
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.
The commission maintained that teachers who fail to train will have licences revoked. Macharia stated 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.
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She urged teachers to embrace it, claiming that it benefits them in line with its goals. 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.
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.
TSC’s launch of TPD modules sparked a debate, with the majority of teachers opposing the plan. The Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) branches wrote 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. A group of teachers drawn from all the 47 counties say the directive by the teacher’s employer is null and void.
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Debate On TPD Gains Momentum as teachers threaten to protest