The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) has officially suspended the infamous Teacher Professional Development (TPD) training programme.
This comes after the Chief Justice Martha Koome-led Bench unanimously threw out a petition by Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition candidate Raila Odinga who argued the declaration of Dr William Ruto as president elect was null and void.
The Supreme Court upheld the election of William Samoei Ruto as Kenya’s fifth president.
During his manifesto launch at the Moi Sports Centre Kasarani, Nairobi, Dr Ruto said his government will pay for the controversial TPD programme.
Ruto will be sworn in on 13th September where he will officially take the leadership mantle.
TSC has also scrapped the TSC package which had been incorporated in the online Teacher Performance Appraisal and Development (TPAD) portal.
This latest move signals that teachers will not attend the training, as it is the norm, after schools close on 16th September.
TSC had also planned to launch a sensitization programme on TPD together with the Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) after the August polls.
The teachers’ union which now boasts of over 115,000 members had said that the TPD that was rolled out in 2013, was a good initiative but TSC did not invest in the sensitization of teachers on its need, usefulness and its benefits.
Collins Oyuu, the Knut secretary general had said that Knut and TSC agreed that the commission organizes sensitisation workshops for all teachers so as to make them understand TPD and its implementation.
Oyuu said that the resistance that was witnessed after the TPD programme was rolled out was occasioned by the fact that proper sensitization was not done.
However things seems to fall apart as the Commission now make drastic changes to be inline with the incoming government.
Teachers have been parting with Sh6,000 for each of the modules, which are to be done after every five years.
Most teachers are opposed to the training which is eating into their meager salaries. They say they cant afford it.
While some of the teachers have been undertaking the course remotely, others have been attending sessions physically.
Mount Kenya University which usually advertises for the next intake early has not done so this time round.
Kenyatta University, Mount Kenya University, Riara and Kenya Education Management Institute are responsible for the training and have been contracted on an annual agreement with an extension option.
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.
In July training teachers were asked to pay for the TPD modules despite allocation for the same in Parliament.
The National Treasury allocated Sh1.16 billion to Teachers Service Commission for the sole purpose of training teachers.
In the 2022-2023 budget, the commission had set aside Sh289.37 billion as gross current and capital estimates and Sh7.23 billion for general administration, planning and support services.
The allocation was made after lobbying and requests by the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) through the education and budget committees.
“I thank Parliament for being a friend of the teachers despite opposition from the executive which has insisted each teacher gathers for the programme,” MP Ronald Tonui said.
Tonui was a member of the education committee. Tonui said teachers will now undergo the training without spending a shilling.
He said there were concerns from teachers who claim they were facing difficulties in getting money for the courses.
The MP said TSC should follow up with the National Treasury to have the funds disbursed.
The policy by the commission is under the career progression guidelines and was introduced to replace the old scheme of service for teachers.
Teacher Professional Development, which had initially faced strong opposition from teachers’ unions, was implemented late last year.
It has seen all employed teachers in public schools undergo the training during their holiday season in compliance with the regulation.
A policy paper prepared by TSC in 2018 states that teachers will be trained for about five days during school holidays.
Upon commencement of the programme, a teacher will be required to acquire a certificate which is renewable every five years.
The guidelines outline the minimum requirements for teachers’ employment and promotion and spell out the new grading structures and their respective salary scales.
TSC rolled out the professional development course after four years of opposition from the Kenya National Union of Teachers under Wilson Sossion.
Former Knut secretary general Wilson Sossion had opposed the programme terming it illegal saying they had not been involved in crafting it.
TSC CEO Nancy Machari defended the rollout of the programme saying it updates teacher knowledge, skills, attitude and values and encourages teachers’ learning communities.
Macharia said the teachers will also be up to date with the changes in the academic world.