TSC push for teachers retraining faces hurdles
Irene Githinji and Enock Amukhale
The recently launched Teacher Professional Development (TPD) has received stiff opposition, with claims that it is punitive.
Already, the Law Society of Kenya President Nelson Havi has hinted at seeking legal redress over the matter, even as he described TPD as oppressive.
After reflecting on what would have been good for my late father and my mother, both of whom were great teachers, I have changed my mind.
I will act for teachers to challenge the oppressive TPD programme imposed by Teachers Service Commission. Let us get started,” Havi said yesterday.
His announcment came as Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) National Chairman Omboko Milemba questioned the process of initiating TPD and demanded that it be suspended, at least for the moment.
“I hear the voice of teachers, who have written a number of letters complaining and so we are asking TSC to suspend this process until we put all the instruments in place, do public participation, develop ownership among teachers before we can implement it,” said Milemba, who spoke from Emuhaya constituency in Kakamega.
Milemba said Kuppet has not authorised, consented or given any agreement to the commission to implement TPD as it is.
“Yes, TPD is a good idea for professionalism but so far, we have had one meeting with TSC last week and they dwelt on informing us the intended practice to introduce TPD,” said Milemba.
To this end, he said Kuppet is in the course of calling a National Governing Council (NGC) in about two weeks so that it can absorb the information from TSC.
NGC will then proceed and develop public participation criteria from Kuppet members before they can fully accept TPD as it is, reject or accept it with amendment.
He called for calm within the Kuppet fraternity, saying nothing wrong has happened so far since the union is yet to address the issue of TPD.
Milemba said currently, teachers are facing a number of challenges including Covid-19 and struggling with Competency Based Curriculum.
In addition, he said teachers recently signed a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) that did not include any monetary value to them so they do not have money.
“We would wish that TSC suspends the implementation of TPD until such a time when the teachers will have signed a CBA that has money.
Remember these are the same teachers who accepted us as union leaders to suspend negotiations of a monetary CBA because of Covid-19,” he stated.
“We are yet to agree on who will pay for TPD, if teachers can be good enough to suspend a monetary CBA, I think the commission should also be good enough to suspend TPD, which has a money value and this will be good for the profession,” he explained.
On who to pay for training of teachers, Milemba said in law it is the responsibility of employers, whenever they wants to train employees, to undertake the payment of such a duty.
He said TSC should instead be looking forward to go to Parliament to ask for a budget for retraining teachers because it must be attached to the new curriculum.
“We want TSC to bring a budget to Education Committee so that they are allocated money to retrain teachers including TPD. This means teachers will not be forced to pay any monies for further training,” he said.