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340,000 teachers to undergo refresher training in new promotion deal

EDUCATION
By Augustine Oduor | July 14th 2021

All the 340,000 teachers under government payroll must now prepare to take refresher courses that will guide their promotions and growth.

This will be a marked departure from the old Schemes of Service that led to automatic progressions for common cadre teachers.

The refresher courses dubbed Teacher Professional Development (TPD) modules, shall be modular based training programmes for all practising teachers.

Teachers service commission(TSC)CEO Dr Nancy Macharia. [Edward Kiplimo, Standard]

Teachers Service Commission (TSC) said the delivery of the TPD will be a Modular Approach mainly using Technology and will address Pedagogy and Content Knowledge (PACK) among other aspects/components in line with the approved Curriculum.

Chief Executive Nancy Macharia said the overall objective of the TPD programme is to continuously develop and improve teachers’ skills, competencies and knowledge in line with the 21st Century core competencies aimed at enhancing the provision of quality education.

Each classroom teacher, primary school headteachers or high school principals and their deputies will be required to undertake at least one module per year.

Classroom teachers will take up modules separate from the senior teachers, mostly institutional leaders and senior staff.

Modules for teachers shall include professionalism, pedagogy, Competence-Based Curriculum and Assessment, inclusive education practices, Comprehensive School Health and Safety, Instructional Leadership and Financial Literacy Skills.

And for institutional leaders, the modules shall include professionalism, Competence Based Curriculum and Assessment, leadership in high-quality instruction and assessment, professional learning environment, building a positive inclusive learning environment, comprehensive school health and financial literacy skills.

Teachers will be expected to undertake at least five modules during their teaching career and this is what will guide their career growth.

“The TPD programme targets to benefit all registered teachers in public and private primary, secondary and tertiary institutions in Kenya,” said Dr Macharia.

The move comes after TSC and Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) on Tuesday reached an agreement to end the four-year stalemate that blocked the implementation of the Teacher Professional Development (TPD) modules.

“The court be pleased to stay the whole judgement of employment and labour relations court in Nairobi delivered on July 12, 2019. The matter is hereby marked as settled,” reads the consent between TSC and Knut.

The consent filed before Court of Appeal judges Asike Makhandia, Sankale Ole Kantai and Pauline Nyamweya also unlocked some Sh600 million deducted from Knut members by TSC but was not remitted.

In addition to this, all Knut members who were locked out of the third and fourth phase of the just lapsed Sh54 billion CBA will also get their money paid in arrears.

The agreement reached between TSC and Knut now gives the employer opportunity to roll out the training program and also implement career progression guidelines, which were the breaking point between it and the union.

The consent also means that the TSC is now at liberty to sign a contract with these training institutions to offer the Teacher Professional Development (TPD) programme.

Kenyatta University, Riara University, Mount Kenya University and the Kenya Education Management Institute (Kemi) were picked by TSC to train the teachers.

These institutions have developed training modules in specific competency areas in line ?with the teaching standards prescribed by the Commission.

They are expected to facilitate the implementation of the TPD training and related programmes with a view to enhance the competencies of teachers and institutional managers.

In addition to these, the universities are expected to assess and evaluate trainees who have undergone the TPD programme.

At the end of the course, the institutions will issue stage completion certificates to trainees upon successful ?completion of the appropriate TPD programme.

The development now unlocks the impasse on the mandatory in-service course which were to be undertaken after TSC rolled the contentious Career Progression Guidelines (CPG) in 2018.

After TSC released the 2018 policy introducing CPGs and abolishing the three schemes of service, Knut under Wilson Sossion objected to the move in court.

The TSC policy had scrapped schemes of service for non-graduate, graduate and technical teachers and lecturers as it implemented performance appraisal tools to guide promotions.

In rolling out the policy, TSC insisted that all teachers in public and private schools would be required to undertake mandatory Teacher Professional Development (TPD) courses during the school holidays at their own cost.

Sossion objected the CPGs in court, getting a favourable ruling from Justice Byrum Ongaya who ordered TSC to revert to the old management frameworks that existed before the CBA was signed.

The judge also ordered TSC to align the old schemes of service to the CBA, which had overhauled those structures.

And in addition to this, Ongaya quashed a circular on promotions that had limited career progression for those with teachers’ training certificates.

Knut objection to the CPGs is what led to a stalemate that stalled the refresher courses even after TSC had, through a competitive process, identified institutions to offer the courses.

With the exit of Sossion, new Knut leadership and TSC filed the consent that unlocked the impasse. 

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