At least nineteen teachers have received transfer letters from their employer, Teachers Service Commission (TSC), for them to report to their new stations which are in far flung counties.
Already a number of the transfered teachers have reported to their new schools as others are preparing to comply to their new order.
Most of the teachers transferred are members of the Kenya National Teachers Pressure Group (KNTPG) which is opposing Teacher Professional Development (TPD) program and the teachers medical insurance, AON Minet.
The first casualty in this purge was the spokesperson of the group, Ms Martha Omollo, who was transferred from Nairobi to Trans Nzoia County, a day after she called for the revocation of tutors’ medical insurance Aon Minet.
However a number of other teachers have found themselves in the troubled waters for fighting TPD and AON Minet in various social media platforms like Facebook and Whatsapp or even associating themselves with KNTPG.
Yesterday Knut officials led by Assistant Secretary General, Hesbon Otieno, Stanley Mutai and other officials met members of the parliamentary committee on education which is headed by Florence Mutua over issues related to the Teacher Professional Development (TPD).
Last week Otieno said they will meet the committee to present challenges teachers are facing ahead of the December TPD program.
Knut, Kuppet and Kusnet have all thrown their support for the program which will take 30 years and will cost teachers sh. 6,000 yearly.
The three unions signed Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) 2021-2025 with TSC that allowed TSC to lauch the program.
Knut secretary general Collins Oyuu also withdraw court cases including those that touched on TPD to build a harmonious relationship with the Commission.
Oyuu has firmly reiterated his support for the program and warned teachers against using media to solve their problems instead of making use of their unions.
He asked teachers with challenges concerning the training to present them to their branch union officials who will relay the same to the national office.
He said TPD is not a new thing and that it is fully captured both in Teachers Service Commission (TSC) Act of 2012 and in the Code of Regulations for Teachers (CORT) 2015.
“TPD is neither an issue of yesterday nor that of last year. This is an issue that has been running from 2012 through an act of parliament. Go to the TSC Act, which is a legal document, Section 35 talks about TPD. Look about the Code of Regulations that was taken before the sub-committee on legislation in parliament; it also went through the education committee in parliament that is 2015. This document started operating fully in July 2015, none of us was Secretary General; I was not there as the Secretary General,” stated Oyuu.
“Let us look this thing with a bit of fairness, so that we actually bring accusations where they are actually due. You do not just wake up and start accusing everybody. They say l signed TPD, what do you sign in TPD? Which part of the TPD should be signed by the Secretary General? I think I shall not sit back and entertain this kind of nonsense, we must say the truth to our members. Why must I hide for popularity? I am not a populist,” he added.
However TSC officials have maintained that the Commission is mandated under Article 237 (2) of the constitution to;
1) Register trained teachers
2) Recruit and employ rregistered teachers
3) Assign teachers employed by the Commission for service in any public school or institution
4) Promote and transfer teachers
5) Exercise disciplinary control over teachers
6) Terminate the employment of teachers
7) Review the standards of education and training of persons entering the teaching service
8) Review the demand for and supply of teachers
9) Advise the national government on matters relating to the teaching profession
Why TSC wants teachers to be trained
According to the Commission most teachers are inadequately trained while some do not adhere to prescribed professional standards, which adversely affect performance.
The teachers’ employer says teachers’ have weaknesses which is evident 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 utilization 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.
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 the Introductory module scheduled to start this December will be taken virtually.
Teachers will study for a period of thirty years and will pay sh. 6,000 yearly for capacity building.
TSC says teachers will be issued with a teaching certificate only after taking the modules.
Teachers who fail to train will not be issued with a teaching license hence will not be able to teach.
Training teachers is good. I support it fully but for some like me money can be a problem. Either it should be funded or let’s say deduct like 200 on payslips for several months for the training but if we say 6000 once it will be achallenge for some like me to raise.
Mandatory trainings should be cattered for by the employer.