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Court declines to suspend teachers’ mandatory training

EDUCATION
By Julius Chepkwony | October 1st 2021
TSC CEO Nancy Macharia. [Wilberforce Okwiri, Standard]

A case challenging the implementation of the Teacher Professional Development Programme has been certified as urgent by a court.

Justice David Nderitu of the Employment and Labour Relations Court declined to suspend the implementation of the government programme and directed Joseph Karanja, the petitioner, to serve all the parties before the hearing scheduled for October 7.

Judge Nderitu noted that the issues raised in the petition were weighty.

Karanja is expected to file and serve the Teachers Service Commission, Education Cabinet Secretary, Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers, Kenya National Union of Teachers, Kenyatta University, Mt Kenya University, Riara University and Kenya Education Management Institute as respondents.

“The petitioner (Karanja) is ordered to serve the pleading on all the parties for the hearing of the said notice of motion inter-parties,” ordered Nderitu.

On Monday, Karanja said the decision to have teachers undergo mandatory refresher training violates their rights. TSC had on September 22 launched the beginning of a professional development training programme for teachers in public schools that will be used to determine promotions and continued employment.

Teachers were required to undertake in-service training lasting five years, upon which their teaching certificate shall be renewed.

During the period, teachers are expected to undertake six modules, each lasting for five years. Teachers are required to pay Sh6,000 annually for the training. The training, as indicated, will be offered at Kenyatta University, Mt Kenya University, Riara University and Kenya Education Management Institute.

He said teachers and education stakeholders were not engaged by TSC in the development of the content of the module to be undertaken in the professional development programme.

“The rollout of the programme by TSC was done in secrecy and without the involvement of the teachers, who are the primary subjects of the programme,” he stated.

He said TSC violated the Constitution in appointing the listed institutions to offer the programme.

Karanja said most teachers are old and cannot complete the training while still in service, thus excluding them from further promotion.

He now wants the court to issue a declaration that TSC, in formulating and seeking to implement the teacher professional development programme, failed to observe and uphold the Constitution.

He seeks to have the programme declared unconstitutional, null and void.

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