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Why varsities, colleges lost out on trainings

EDUCATION
By Augustine Oduor | September 28th 2021

Teachers Service Commission (TSC ) CEO Dr Nancy Macharia. [Samson Wire, Standard]

Many institutions may have been disqualified from offering refresher teacher professional development (TPD) courses after failing to meet four-set criteria.

The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) documents seen by The Standard reveal that the tender evaluation process focused on four critical areas, with marks allocated per category.

Most points were scored based on level of qualifications and competence of key personnel in the applying institutions. This criterion was allocated 40 points, being the criteria with highest value and institutions had to demonstrate their competence in this category.

The adequacy and quality of the proposed methodology and work plan in responding to the terms of reference was the second criterion and was awarded 20 points. The relevant experience of the institution in carrying out TPD programme was also allocated 20 points.

In total, successful institutions were expected to score 100 points. However, any institution that managed 85 points from these categories was allowed to proceed to the next evaluation stage. These details are contained in a TSC document titled accreditation of service providers for refresher programme for registered teachers in Kenya.

The document TSC/RFP/03/2017-2018 says that ‘special attention will, however, be paid to getting a firm that can offer the most within the available budget…’

It has now emerged that the most critical criterion and which may have locked out many institutions from the training teachers was availability of adequate infrastructure. TSC allocated this criterion 20 points and explained it was looking for institutions with adequate training centres at sub-county level with evidence of ownership, lease agreement or a memorandum of understanding between the institution and the intended training centre.

Among institutions that expressed interest include Moi University, Alupe University, Riara University, Kenyatta University, Kenya institute of Curriculum Development (KICD), KEMI, French Embassy, Techno-Brain and Virtual Learning.

Others were Mount Kenya University (MKU), Kenya Institute of Special Education (KISE), NOVEL Technology East Africa Limited, Global E-Schools and Community Initiatives, CORRAT Africa, British Council, Life Skills Promoters, Centre for Mathematics, Science and Technology Education in Africa (CEMASTEA), among others.

However, those shortlisted were Moi University, CEMASTEA, MKU, KISE, French Embassy, Riara University, Kenyatta University and KEMI. At the end of the technical and financial evaluation exercise, Kenyatta University, Riara University, Mount Kenya University and the KEMI were picked to train the teachers.

TSC Code of Regulations for Teachers (2015) under Section 48 (2) says: “The commission shall approve training institutions to conduct teacher development programmes.” Speaking during the launch of the TPD last week, TSC Chief Executive Nancy Macharia said infrastructure was a major criterion.

“We emphasised that each of the institutions must have presence at sub-county level because in as much as most part of the sessions would be done virtually, we wanted some part of training to be done face to face,” said Macharia.

The tender document expressly stated that proposals may be rejected at this stage of evaluation. In the eligibility criteria, TSC document calling for expression of interest said shortlisting shall only be done for institutions that will have demonstrated capacity to facilitate provision of the TPD training programme to all teachers at the sub-county level.

The document –TSC/EOI/03/2017-2018– also required the institutions to have a minimum of five years experience in conducting similar assignments. 

TSC also required the institutions to provide evidence of financial ability in undertaking the assignment by attaching copies of audited financial statements for 2014, 2015 and 2016. Overall, TSC listed the expected output to include ability of the institutions to plan and organise venues for delivery of the TPD training and related programmes.

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The basis of picking only four institutions–two public and two private– to implement the refresher courses has come into sharp focus.

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