The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) is preparing to offer refresher courses to the country's 340,000 tutors.
Last week, TSC held numerous meetings with teacher unions and associations to prepare for the new courses, which were introduced four years ago but have been stalled due to union opposition.
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This week, all senior TSC officials met with representatives of the Kenya Primary School Headteachers Association at their Nairobi headquarters to explain the modalities of the mandatory programs. Dr Mugwuku Nthamburi, TSC Director for Quality Assurance and Standards, called this meeting.
On Thursday, TSC officials met with officials from the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) to demonstrate how the Teacher Professional Development Programmes will be taught and examined, and how completion certificates will be used to re-register all teachers and determine promotions. More meetings are scheduled for the following week.
To complete the course, all teachers will be required to pay Sh6,000 per year for five years.
This program was introduced in 2018 to replace the service schemes that guided promotions, but it was met with stiff opposition from the Kenya National Union of Teachers, which insisted that it was TSC's responsibility to boost the capacity of its staff at its own expense.
The unions demanded that the service schemes that allowed for automatic promotions be preserved, and they went to court to prevent the programs from being implemented.
This impasse was resolved, however, by the new five-year Collective Bargaining Agreement signed in July.
All teachers will be required to complete modular training in selected institutions under this new arrangement. They will later issue certificates to guide promotions. As a result, academic papers will not be used as a basis for promotions, and professional training and work output will take precedence.
As a result, this training will take place during school holidays and will be provided by Kenyatta, Mount Kenya, and Riara universities, as well as the Kenya Education Management Institute (Kemi).
The TSC boss in a statement that, “Professional development is critical in that teachers keep abreast with contemporary teaching methods, what is happening in the sector, and in the rest of the world."
TSC says that technology, global learning, and the potential to impact a diverse range of learning styles are now more important than ever in modern instructional practices, areas that were not as important in the profession's early years.
The modules will provide an avenue for the development of ethical aspects of teaching, as well as "an opportunity for teachers to network and test new methods of curriculum delivery."
The training centres will be as close to the workstations as possible, and the training will not last more than five working days, though online lessons may last longer if they do not interfere with teachers' core duties.
Furthermore, performance reports should be submitted to TSC in soft copy on or before the 15th of the month following the school holiday.
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