Whether President William Ruto’s government will fund the Teacher Professional Development (TPD) training programme as promised is still a mystery.
The President and his Deputy, Rigathi Gachagua, have never uttered a word concerning the programme since their swearing in ceremony.
The two have largely concentrated on other two big promises they made to teachers which are delocalization and employment.
The two are shying away from tackling the issue of teacher retraining which was started by Teachers Service Commission (TSC) last year.
However President Ruto has given a hint of what his government is upto. On 25th October 2022 the President said it is not necessary to take someone who is already trained back to school again.
“There is no need to take someone who understands the work to school again, give them the exam, the papers and let them continue working,” said President Ruto.
This he said after a move was made by government to slash at least sh 1.02 billion allocated to TSC for training teachers on the new curriculum.
TSC launched TPD in September 22, 2021, requiring all teachers registered with the commission to undertake the six-module course that would form the basis of their promotion and employment going forward.
There are six modules in the programme. The training is conducted during holidays. At the end of each module, teachers will be given several points.
After completing all the modules, teachers will be eligible for re-certification and promotion since the modules have been anchored in the career progression guidelines.
Each teacher is to pay Sh6,000 for each module, which would be valid for five years, before taking the next module.
According to TSC only teachers with a teaching license will be allowed to teach and only to be issued after taking the modules.
The Commission picked Mt Kenya University, Kenyatta University, Riara University and the Kenya Education Management Institute to offer the professional training.
TSC said more institutions and colleges will be invited to offer TPD training to teachers in 2023.
During the campaigns and manifesto launch at the Moi Sports Centre Kasarani, Nairobi, Ruto said his government will pay for the teacher training programme.
This pledge is further emphasized through the Kenya Kwanza Education Charter.
“Ensure that all the government initiated capacity building trainings including Teacher Continuous Professional Development are undertaken by trainers free of charge,” reads the document.
However to date there are no indications that the Kenya Kwanza will carry the payment burden for teachers with December training sessions looming.
The December training will start after schools close for third term. Schools will close on 25th November 2022 and reopened on 23rd January 2023 according to Ministry of Education school term dates.
Most teachers including those employed by the Commission are yet to join the programme saying its too expensive and that they can’t afford it.
Already the courts cleared the Commission to go ahead with the TPD programme after dismissal of a petition challenging its implementation.
The Employment and Labour Relations Court in Nakuru dismissed a petition by Mr Joseph Ngethe Karanja who wanted the programme disbanded citing lack of public participation and violation of teachers’ rights.
However Justice David Nderitu gave TSC the green light to continue with the execution of the TPD programme after finding the process to be in line with the Constitution.