It is about four months since the Teacher Professional Development (TPD) programme kicked off and enrollment has been gradually rising.Four institutions; Kenya Education Management Institute (KEMI), Kenyatta, Riara and Mount Kenya universities were accredited to offer the programme.
The institutions are required to admit a minimum of 5,000 teachers to begin the programme, which was rolled out in December.
During the training, the institutions are expected to equip teachers with professional knowledge, skills and attitudes to address pedagogy and content using the Competency Based Teacher Education model.
Modules were developed to add value and improve teachers’ competencies and learner outcomes and the four institutions are to deliver each module on behalf of Teachers Service Commission.
A blended model of learning is used, which consists of face-to-face sessions conduted during school holidays and online learning through which teachers and instructional leaders will access online content at any time depending on their availability.
One of the universities offering the programme, Mount Kenya University (MKU), says implementation of the programme is on course.
According to the TPD programme team leader at MKU, Dr Benson Njoroge, the paradigm shift in education to Competency Based Curriculum (CBC) calls for the need to broaden and deepen knowledge, skills and competencies to effectively perform the work.
“Mount Kenya is building teachers’ capacity for a new era of education in Kenya through TPD prescribed modules, school based TPD and acquiring higher education qualification,” Njoroge told a secondary school principals’ meeting recently.
The first cohort training took place online from December 27 to 31, while the second took place on April 4 to 8. A third group was trained a week before schools reopened for this term.“Teachers and instructional leaders access the online content anytime anywhere through modern technologies,” Njoroge told the principals.
Already, MKU has developed a TPD app, a Learning Management System (LMS) for online learning and prepared self paced learning materials that cater even for those abled differently.
The university has identified training centres in the 290 sub-counties, which are accessible to teachers for the face-to-face training that starts next year.
“MKU has partnered with Safaricom to offer subsidised e-learning bundles – 10GB for Sh500 that teachers can use to learn in the LMS and Microsoft Teams,” said Njoroge
Similarly, the app allows for application and students’ onboarding process with several features, such as lessons that include five chapters, 19 lessons and group activities are carried out, integration with LMS to allow access to resources and link to Microsoft Teams for county base group discussions and communities of practice.
TSC says teachers are expected to enroll and undertake a TPD programme on face-to-face session for five days once a year during a school holiday.
They will be required to download an App created by respective universities to facilitate learning.
Teaching and learning must adapt to the changing world.
More than ever, the Covid-19 pandemic showed that there is power in embracing technology and teachers must also be ready to play the part.
Teachers are expected to prepare learners to enable them to navigate through increasingly complex social cultural, economic, technological and global challenges.
According to Kenyatta University, the TPD face-to-face sessions will be conducted from December 2022 in various designated centres located at the sub counties to ensure accessibility by all teachers.
The first session of the introductory module was successfully conducted online in December 2021 and January 2022 whole the other online session was will be held last week.
“Other modes of delivery will include participation in a country network of teachers to create a community of practice among teachers, follow up observation visits to schools by University teacher educators to provide feedback and support as well as mentoring and/or peer observation,” says a public notice from Kenyatta University.
KEMI and Riara University also held online sessions last month.
Applicants for the TPD course are required to pay Sh6,000 in installments.Upon successful completion of the introductory module, the institutions will issue a transcript and certificate for renewal of the teaching licence.
TSC has insisted that the refresher courses are not meant to punish teachers saying that it is part of the ongoing reforms in the education sector, designed to keep them with skills to handle emerging global trends. The programme was at first met with opposition, but the uptake has since been embraced.
TSC affirmed that TPD is provided for in law and it can recommend it from time to time.
According to Article 48 of the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) Code of Regulations for Teachers 2015, every teacher should undertake the TPD prescribed or recommended by the Commission.
Similarly, the regulations state that every teacher who successfully completes a professional TPD will be issued with a teaching certificate by the commission