The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) is staring at a possible crisis as teachers stay away from registering for Teacher Professional Development (TPD) training.
According to TSC all serving teachers will be issued with a teaching certificate once the programme start. The certificates will also expire after five years and will be renewed only after taking TPD modules.
Sarah Ruto the Basic Education Chief Administrative Secretary revealed that only 20,000 teachers have applied for TPD programme scheduled to start this December.
TSC had directed teachers to enroll for the training in a bid to boost the implementation of CBC in schools.
The Commission picked Mount Kenya University, Kenyatta University, Riara University and Kenya Education Management Institute (KEMI) to offer TPD training.
The programme will be offered both face to face and virtually (online). Teachers will have face to face training once a year during the December school holidays.
Online training will be offered twice a year during the April and August school holidays.
However teachers are refusing to register for the programme which will cost sh. 6,000 yearly for thirty years.
TSC is facing opposition from different quarters with teachers unions, educationists, lawyers and Mps calling calling for the Commission to bear the cost of training teachers.
“Teachers are instrumental to the implementation of CBC, and the Ministry of Education’s emphasis for the teachers to go for advanced training is to fasten the roll-out of the programme by 2023,” stated Dr Ruto.
Speaking in Chemundu in Nandi on Thursday, Ruto noted that the shortage of skilled teachers threatens to slow down implementation of the new curriculum within the set time frame.
According to the teachers employer each of the 340,000 in its payroll must undertake the mandatory professional courses that will inform their promotion and professional growth.
“For now, we are urging teachers to exploit the existing funding from NG-CDF and county education bursaries. We know one of the critical challenges is lack of school fees, and we are asking them to just make efforts to acquire training for the betterment of our young generation,” said Ruto.
According to a TSC report, the Ministry of Education is targeting 218,000 teachers, in public and private primary schools who already have a P1 certificate to advance their training to support CBC roll-out.
“Despite the implementation hiccups, we are appealing to the parents and the guardians to ignore the critics of the CBC and support the programme equipping the young learners with the skills to tackle current challenges,” Ruto added.
She added: “Parents should shun the naysayers and pessimists. We are urging education stakeholders, including teachers, to sensitise the communities about the essence of the CBC to debunk any negative attitude bound to derail the programme at expense of the young learners.”
A concept report by TSC established that most teachers are inadequately trained while some do not adhere to prescribed professional standards, which adversely affect performance.
The teachers’ employer says the recent trends in Primary Teacher Education (PTE) revealed teachers’ weaknesses in ineffective teaching strategies, preparation of professional records, poor classroom management, incompetency in handling learners with special needs and weak assessment and feedback skills that necessitates the training.
TSC says some school heads are not able to analyse books of accounts, communicate effectively with teachers and parents, build a spirit of shared goals for school improvement and also have poor resource utilisation abilities.
In addition to these, TSC says content knowledge among a majority of teachers does not attain the set benchmark in English, Mathematics and Science due to poor content mastery.
It is against this backdrop that TSC is seeking to provide teachers with professional training and support throughout their teaching career.
TSC launched TPD programme on 22nd September 2021 and has since escalated campaigns for teachers to register for training which starts in December 2021.
The Commission says it has a statutory mandate through TSC Act 2012 section 11(e) to facilitate professional development for teachers.
“Section 35(2)(a) and (b) of the Act and Regulations 48 & 49 of Code of Regulations for Teachers states that, all teachers are obligated to undertake professional development courses as prescribed by the Commission from time to time,” reads TPD framework.