Teachers fight TSC’s new plan on training

By Augustine Oduor and Patrick Beja | Wednesday, Aug 15th 2018 at 00:00
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Education CS Amina Mohammed is encircled by delegates as they attempted to greet her after the opening of the 14th annual Kenya Primary Schools Head Teachers Association (KEPSHA) conference in Mombasa County. [Gideon Maundu/Standard]

Teachers have opposed a plan that will force them to undergo training at their own cost so they can be considered for promotion.

If adopted, the new arrangement by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) will lead to the abolishing of Government-sponsored training programmes and automatic promotions.

The commission insists all teachers in public and private schools will be required to undertake mandatory Teacher Professional Development (TPD) courses during the school holidays at their own cost.

It says the training will deepen teachers’ knowledge in subject specialisation.

Modular approach

“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,” said TSC Chief Executive Officer Nancy Macharia.

Ms Macharia scrapped all three schemes of service on May 2 through a circular that introduced career progression guidelines.

“The guidelines provided the broad framework in school management, administration and ensure that curriculum implementation is structured and every teacher is clear on what is expected upon joining teaching career,” Macharia said.

But the Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) says teachers will reject the move, insisting that capacity building of staff is the employer’s mandate, and demands that the schemes of service that allowed automatic promotion be retained.

Knut Secretary General Wilson Sossion said teachers would not report to school next term if TSC failed to restore automatic promotions.

“TSC is becoming a rogue organisation that is sending out circulars and policies without consulting us. We are opposed to the changes in the scheme of service because it will deny teachers Sh5 billion a year. We are also opposed to the delocalisation policy,” he said.

“We are not going to support policies that are not negotiated and agreed upon.”

The commission scrapped the three schemes of service for non-graduate, graduate and technical teachers and lecturers, and implemented performance appraisal tools to guide promotions.

Under the old arrangement, all non-graduate teachers in job group G would progress through automatic promotion to job group L.

 

Annual appraisals

Promotions were effected every three years and based on annual appraisals. The teachers could also move from job group L to N through interviews.

Graduate teachers in job group P would move through progression to job group R.

Under the new arrangement, all teachers will be required to undertake modular training in selected institutions, which will issue certificates that will be filed by TSC to guide promotions.

This means teachers will no longer be promoted based on academic papers but on professional training and work output.

Training for each of the six TSC-developed modules will cost between Sh7,000 and Sh14,000. If all 312,060 teachers undertake the training, Sh4.3 billion will be struck off their payslips.

“TSC intends to punish teachers to pay for training when the Government has been releasing Sh4.5 billion every year for promotions. Who are they saving the money for? We shall reject their plan,” Mr Sossion said.

He said the three schemes of service must be reinstated unconditionally for teachers to enjoy promotions.

“The schemes offered teachers growth and a chance to get new academic qualifications. Capacity building is a mandate of the employer.”

Speaking recently, Macharia asked teachers to prepare for holiday training in selected institutions at their own cost.

Documents tabled in Parliament by TSC show the TPD should have been rolled out four months ago.

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