The Teachers Service Commission is now ready to roll out refresher courses for the 340,000 tutors across the country that will guide their promotion and growth.
The Teachers Commission has been carrying out a lot of meetings this week with teacher unions and associations to prepare for the new courses introduced four years ago, but which have been in limbo owing to opposition by the unions.
All the senior TSC officials met representatives of the Kenya Primary School Headteachers Association this week at its headquarters in Nairobi to explain the modalities of the mandatory programmes. This meeting was convened by Dr Mugwuku Nthamburi, the TSC Director for Quality Assurance and Standards.
TSC had met the officials of the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) on Thursday to demonstrate how the Teacher Professional Development Programmes will be taught and examined and how completion certificates will be used to register all teachers afresh and determine promotions. More meetings are planned for next week.
It was agreed that all teachers will be required to pay Sh6,000 each year for five years to complete the course.
This programmes was introduced in 2018 to replace the schemes of service, which guided promotions, but they immediately ran into stiff opposition from the Kenya National Union of Teachers, that insisted that it was TSC’s duty to boost the capacity of its staff at its own cost.
The unions demanded that the schemes of service that allowed automatic promotions be retained and went to court to block the programmes.
This stalemate was however resolved under the new five-year Collective Bargaining Agreement signed in July.
With this new arrangement all teachers will be required to undertake modular training in selected institutions.Later on, they will issue certificates to guide promotions. Therefore it means that with academic papers only, they will not be used as a basis for promotions and that professional training and work output would take precedence.
This training therefore will be carried out during school holidays and will be offered by :Kenyatta, Mount Kenya and Riara universities in addition to the Kenya Education Management Institute (KEMI) .
The TSC boss in a statement said ,“Professional development is critical in that teachers keep abreast with contemporary teaching methods, what is happening in the sector, and in the rest of the world. Now more than ever, current day instructional practices must have components of technology, global learning and the potential to impact a diverse range of learning styles, areas that were not key in the earlier years of the profession,”
Dr.Nancy Macharia added that the modules will be an avenue for growth of ethical aspects of teaching and that they will also “grant teachers an opportunity for networking as well as testing new methods of curriculum delivery.”
The training centres will be as close to the work stations as possible, the training will not exceed five working days though online lessons can exceed the period as long as they do not interfere with teachers’ core duties.
In addition, the performance reports should be submitted to TSC in soft copy on or before the 15th day of the subsequent month after the school holiday.