The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) recently unveiled the Teacher Professional Development Programme (TPD) which led to signing of contracts with four universities that it has selected to offer mandatory refresher courses every five years tomore than 300,000 teachers at their own cost.
Teachers who will not comply with the directive stand risk not being recertfied by TSC
The institutions include; Mount Kenya University, Kenyatta University, Riara University and the Kenya Education Management Institute.
The move according to the teacher’s employer is geared towards aligning the profession to global trends.
“The Teachers will be required to renew their teaching licence every five years after the completion of each module,” said TSC CEO Nancy Macharia.
Since the rollout,a section of comments made by the TSC boss continues to spark off mass anger amongst tutors across the country.
“Over the years, the teaching profession has received a lot of criticism, secondary school teachers are termed as semi-skilled while our primary school teachers are accused of being unskilled. This is why this programme is important as it will progressively retool our teachers,” she said.
The Kenya Union of Post Primary Teachers (KUPPET) Narok Branch officials are demanding an official apology on behalf of thousands of teachers from Macharia concerning the above statement.
“We are opposed to TPD because teachers on the ground have told us clearly they don’t want TPD. Teachers have undergone training, we have teachers with degrees and they are indeed professionals, the higher education has rolled out a curricula which serves teachers well. When someone comes out and tells us teachers are semi-skilled we take it as a castigation of the teaching fraternity and as teachers of Narok we want to demand an apology from Nancy Macharia herself,teachers are not semi-skilled they are skilled and they have been given the power by the universities that they went to, to do what is pertained in those degrees,” said Charles Ng’eno, Secretary General KUPPET Narok Branch.
They have since vowed to move to court if the TPD is implemented at the same time raising questions over the criteria used to grant certain universities the mandate to re-train teachers under the programme.
Under the TPD, teachers will be required to undertake six modules after every five years meaning in order to fully complete it ,this will take teachers at least 30 years.
Tutors are now expected to part with Sh6,000 annually, inclusive of the training sessions, assessment, reporting among other costs likely to be incurred while undergoing the programme.
Over the course of six modules teachers according to the contracts between TSC and the selected universities,will pay Sh180,000 for the six modules with universities issuing certificates at the end of the programme.
“The service provider will be wholly responsible for collection of the fee directly from the teachers and the commission will not be accountable for the non-payment of fees by any of the teachers or instructional leaders,” read a section of the contracts.
The universities have been directed to ensure that teacher’s learning experiences are linked to classroom practices while at the same time ensure that emerging gaps are addressed.
Macharia further revealed that the programme will be undertaken during the school holidays with teachers set to undergo a minimum of 42.5 hours of professional development consisting of five face-to-face sessions, two online sessions and blended learning.
The programme which will be undertaken across sub-county training centers nationwide will see teachers ‘in-class’ sessions for a minimum of 40 hours per week.