Court gives TSC greenlight to proceed with TPD modules

Court gives TSC greenlight to proceed with TPD modules

A judge of the Employment and Labour Relations Court has declined to suspend the implementation of the Teacher Professional Development (TPD) Programme.

The case was certified as urgent by one Joseph Ngethe Karanja. However Ngethe got a blow after Justice David Nderitu of the Employment and Labour Relations Court declined to suspend programme as directed by the petitioner who wanted all parties to be served by the order before the hearing which is scheduled for October 7.

Judge Nderitu noted that the issues raised in the petition were weighty. Unless the case is heard and concluded Nderitu said TSC can proceed with the programme.

Joseph Ngethe Karanja filed a petition challenging the TPD program. In a petition filed at the High Court in Nakuru, Ngethe sued the TSC, Education Cabinet Secretary, Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers, Kenya National Union of Teachers, Kenyatta University, Mt Kenya University, Riara University and Kenya Education Management Institute.

Ngethe, in the suit, argues that the decision to have teachers undergo mandatory refresher training violates their rights.

“Teachers and education stakeholders were not engaged by TSC in the development of the content of the module to be undertaken in the professional development programme,” says Ngethe in the petition.

Particulars of Breach according to Joseph Ngethe

1) Purporting to introduce a compulsory teacher professional development (TPD) programme without first having public participation.

2) Purporting to impose a teacher professional development (TPD) programme through collective bargaining agreement and in so doing neglecting to take the requisite public participation and consulting all the stakeholders.

3) Failing to consult and engage the teachers and all education stakeholders prior to rolling out teacher professional development (TPD) programme which essentially was in breach of transparency, good governance and accountability.

4) Arbitrarily appointing Mount Kenya University, Riara University, Kenyatta University and KEMI as the sole providers in the teaching of teachers under the teacher professional development (TPD) programme and without engaging in open and transparent tendering process as required by law.

He says the rollout of the programme by TSC was done in secrecy and without the involvement of the teachers who are the primary subjects of the said programme.

He adds that TSC violated the Constitution in appointing the listed institutions to offer the programme.

Ngethe said most teachers are old and cannot complete the said training while still in service thus excluding them from any further promotion.

Further, he wants the court to issue a declaration that TSC in formulating and seeking to implement the teacher professional development programme failed to observe and uphold the constitution.

He seeks to have the programme declared unconstitutional, null and void. He also wants TSC, the ministry and the universities restrained from implementing the programme.

The appointment of the universities, he said, should also be declared to be irregular and illegal.

During the rollout, Dr Macharia said the overall objective of the TPD programme is to continuously develop teachers’ skills and knowledge in line with the 21st-century core competencies.

She also said the refresher courses will boost the Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC) roll out as teachers will be equipped with requisite skills.

Just this week parliament through its weight on the issue. According to legislatures TSC should fund the program instead of sourcing funds from teachers.

They said teachers have committed their salaries and are left with nothing to support the program. The MPs also argued that no public participation was made to validate the program.

They said TSC should be considerate especially because some teachers are delocalized and need time during holidays to bond with their families.

TPD is facing many wars led by some teachers unions like Kuppet.

Already 40 Kuppet branch secretaries made a declaration rejecting the training program which TSC said will take 30 years.

Led by Joseph Chebukaka, Kuppet Chairman National council of organizing secretaries, the secretaries unanimously rejected in totality the TPD modules proposed by TSC based on the following facts.

1.   Its international labor practice that any in-service training MUST be funded by the employer.

2.   All civil servants in Kenya undergo in-service training and they are sponsored by their respective employers (Government). Teachers will not be an exception.

3.   Many teachers are currently pursuing school based graduate and post graduate studies. Making TPD modules compulsory is denying teachers a chance to further their studies.

Court gives TSC greenlight to proceed with TPD modules
Statement by National Council of Secretaries

4.   Teachers can only apply for annual leave during holidays. If TPD modules shall only be taught during holidays, then teachers will suffer work without rest for the rest of their lives.

5.   What is this that is taught in 30 years? The duration of TPD modules is laughable.

6.   Most teachers have spouses who are also teachers. Who will take care of their families during holidays as they go for training?

7.   The Kenyan teacher makes schemes of work, lesson plans and lesson notes during holidays as demanded by TPAD. That work is demanding. Time for training would be un-available.

8.   The developed countries have no such programs of 30 years. How unique is Kenya?

The council further gave the following proposals for successful TPD rollout;

a)  That teachers are not against In-service training if the cost of training will be met by the employer. Training and subsistence costs must be met by the employer

b)  That the course period be shortened to 2 years of 1 holiday of choice per module. Teachers are capable of reading all that appertains the training.

c)  That the training be offered in our SMASSE training centers. We cannot risk teachers far away from home during this pandemic.

d)  The police, military and other public service employees, get promoted after in-service training. Teachers MUST be guaranteed automatic promotion.

The TPD program is facing many wars. Yesterday the Law Society of Kenya President Nelson Havi announced that he will challenge the contentious Teacher Professional Development (TPD) modules in court.

“After reflecting on what would have been good for my late father and 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 TSC. Let us get satrted,” said Havi.

Havi backtracked after he earlier warned teachers against dragging him into their own woes they created.

Nelson Havi had declined to petition TSC on the newly issued directive requiring teachers to undertake TPD modules that will see them being issued with a five year renewable teaching certificates.

Havi had declined a request by teachers to take TSC to court over the controversial TPD modules.

Already Mount Kenya University and Kenya Education Management Institute (KEMI) have advertised for enrolment of the programme that starts in December 2021.

In a statement, Havi had accused teachers of digging their own graves by kicking out of office former Secretary General of Knut Mr. Wilson Sossion.

“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 Teachers Service Commission (TSC) that you be trained afresh,” said LSK President Nelson Havi.

On Wednesday 15th September TSC CEO Dr. Nancy Njeri Macharia rolled out the TPD programme that will see teachers study for a period of thirty years.

“At the end of each module, successful teachers will have their teaching certificates renewed after every five years,” said Macharia.

The modules which are five in number will cost at least shs. 6,000 yearly. The modules are divided into chapters that teachers will during their career life.

Kenyatta University, Riara University, Mount Kenya University and the Kenya Education Management Institute (Kemi) were picked by TSC to train the teachers.

Dr Macharia, said the overall objective of the TPD programme is to continuously develop teachers’ skills and knowledge in line with the 21st-century core competencies.

She also said the refresher courses will boost the Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC) roll out as teachers will be equipped with requisite skills.


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