The two branch executive secretaries say teachers have rejected in totality the Teacher Professional Development (TPD) modules lauched on Wednesday by the Commission.
“This is to inform you and the National leadership of KUPPET that, teachers employed by Teachers Service Commission and working in Taita Taveta county have rejected in totality the recently launched and advertised compulsory retraining of teachers named Teacher Professional Development (TPD) training,” said Kuppet executive secretary in Taita Taveta.
Since the launching of TPD modules by TSC on Wednesday there have been a debate with most teachers rejecting this plan.
Taita Taveta Kuppet officials said teachers are opposed to the fact that they will pay for the training which is set to kick off in December.
“It is of no doubt that it is the sole responsibility of the employer to identify capacity gaps in the teaching service and find ways of ways of addressing the gaps but it is also the sole responsibility of the employer to budget and cater for the total cost of the retraining of teachers,” they said in a letter addressed to Kuppet secretary general Akelo Misori.
Already two institutions charged with training teachers have advertised for enrolment of the TPD programme that starts in December 2021.
Mount Kenya University and Kenya Education Management Institute (KEMI) have issued an advert calling for teachers registered by TSC to register for enrolment.
Other institutions picked by TSC for training teachers are Kenyatta University and Riara University.
According to Taita Taveta Kuppet officials teachers gave four opinions regarding the controversial TPDs which will cost teachers sh 6,000 per year for a period of 30 years.
1) It is unconstitutional to force teachers to go back to the colleges and retrain, a program which did not go through public participation process as enshrined in the constitution of Kenya 2010. Teachers were not consulted and therefore have unanimously rejected TPDs.
2) The research which was done to identify the gaps in teachers training was against the scientific norms of research methods because there is no way all teachers in the country even those in colleges could have been found unfit to offer teaching services.
3) A refresher course which will compel an employee to be a student entirely in his/her working life time (30 years) is outdated and unpalatable.
4) This training is not an emergency and therefore the employer 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. The employer must take care of the total cost for the entire 30 years of the program of every individual teacher.
Taita Taveta county is not the only Kuppet branch that have written to the secretary general rejecting the modules which will eat into teachers pockets.
Migori County Kuppet branch through its executive secretary, Mr Orwa Jasolo, have also written to Misori rejecting the modules which Dr Nancy Macharia said will develop teachers’ skills and knowledge in line with the 21st-century core competencies.
“I write to inform you that the teachers of Migori have totally rejected the planned retraining of teachers by TSC through the listed universities,” said Jasolo.
Jasolo urgued that it is the responsibility of the employer to “plan for 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 modules, accomodation, transport, meals and strenous allowances just as in the case with Public Service Commission and public universities”.
TSC will have rough time to convince teachers to embrace this program which doesn’t augur well with their pocket.
Macharia asked teachers to embrace the programme and promised to launch awareness campaign to make teachers understand it.
“I beseech our teachers to embrace the TPD programme as it is certainly going to be a gamechanger. We will engage in robust communication and awareness campaigns to ensure that this programme is well understood and ends up benefiting the teacher in line with its objectives,” she said during the launch at CEMSTEA in Nairobi.
There are six TPD modules each teacher will have to undertake during their career and each will take five years to complete.
Macharia said all teachers in public and private schools would be required to undertake the mandatory Teacher Professional Development (TPD) courses during the school holidays at their own cost.
“At the end of each module, successful teachers will have their teaching certificates renewed after every five years,” said Macharia.
This means that those who will not have taken the refresher courses will not be granted teaching licence and may not be authorised to teach.
Macharia said the refresher courses will boost the Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC) roll out as teachers will be equipped with requisite skills.
Details show that each classroom teacher, primary school head teachers, or high school principals and their deputies will be required to undertake at least one module per year.
Classroom teachers will take up modules separate from the senior teachers, mostly institutional leaders and senior staff.
Modules for teachers will include professionalism, pedagogy, Competency-Based Curriculum and Assessment, inclusive education practices, comprehensive school health and safety, instructional leadership, and financial literacy skills.
And for institutional leaders, the modules will include professionalism, Competency-Based Curriculum and Assessment, leadership in high-quality instruction and assessment, professional learning environment, building a positive inclusive learning environment, comprehensive school health, and financial literacy skills.
The modules have been organised into chapters’ which will be taken by teachers every year.
The contract document defines a chapter as a critical area of knowledge and skills in a module that informs the development of learning units. Each chapter will be taken every year and will cost Sh6,000.
“The service provider will charge an annual training fee of Sh6,000 only per teacher which will be inclusive of all training sessions, assessment, reporting and all other associated costs incurred in carrying out the described service,” reads the document.
The fee will be paid by teachers even as unions said the matter should be revisited and cost shouldered by the employer.
“This cost needs to be relooked at and even made cheaper,” said Akello Misori, the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers secretary general.
The courses shall be modular-based training programmes for all practising teachers and will adopt online and in-person approach.
Nancy Macharia said the TPDs are part of Performance Management and Evaluation programme which teachers unions agreed in the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) 2021 – 2025.
“In compliance with Regulation 48 (1) of the CORT and with a view to enhance and maintain high performance standards in the teaching service, the Commission shall implement continuous the Teacher Professional Development (TPD) Programmes and Performance Management system in the teaching service,” said Nancy Macharia in a circular 14/2021.
TSC signed a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) with Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT), Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) and Kenya Union of Special Needs Education Teachers (KUSNET) on 13th July 2021.
The CBAs were registered by the Employment and Labour Relations Court on 27th August, 2021 as required under Section 60 of the Labour Relations Act.
According to Nancy Macharia every teacher who successfully completes the TPD programme shall be issued with a Teaching Certificate contemplated under Regulation 49 (1) of the CORT.
Teachers will also be required to regularly update their TPAD2 which will capture the TPD modules and chapters they have undertaken.
Each of the 340,000 teachers will undertake the mandatory professional courses that will inform their promotion and professional growth.
The teachers will also be required to renew their teaching certificate every five years, and only if they regularly take the courses.
“We had a very hard time in negotiating for teachers because when you are at the negotiations table they reffered to teachers as unskilled or semi-skilled. We need to see our teachers conduct reseach projects and write academic and acclaimed research papers to improve the quality in schools,” said Nancy Macharia.