The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) has has been dealt a huge blow following a move by members of parliament recommended the suspension of the Teacher Professional Development (TPD) training.
At the same time the teachers’ employer is likely to be deprived of its power as a regulator and employer after the MPs asked Parliament to pass an amendments to the TSC Act,2012 and Article 237 of the Constitution.
According to the report tabled by Parliamentary Education and Research Committee chairperson Florence Mutua on Thursday evening, the lawmakers said teachers were not involved and consulted in coming up with the plan.
“TSC should conduct extensive public participation as required under Article 232(1)(d) of the Constitution and take into account the views of teachers, trade unions and other stakeholders with a view of building consensus,” the report says.
Florence Mutua who also doubles up as Busia Woman Representative said the sourcing of the institutions to offer the programme should be broadened to ensure even distribution of the centres across the counties.
Teachers have urged Parliament to ask the commission to put in place a legislation and policy framework to provide for the establishment of a professional regulatory agency for teachers so as to avoid conflict of interest, accusing the TSC of acting as the employer and regulator at the same time.
The Teachers Service Commission launched the programme on September 22, 2021.
The controversial programme involves six TPD modules, each taking five years. A teacher is required to renew professional certificate after every five years. If implemented, a teacher will take 30 years to complete the whole training.
One of the thorny issues raised by teachers is decision to award only four institutions of higher learning to offer the training during school holidays.
The four include Mt Kenya, Kenyatta and Riara universities. The other is the Kenya Education Management Institute.
Each teacher is required to pay Sh6, 000 every year for the training sessions, assessment, reporting and other associated costs.
To complete one module, a teacher will need to pay Sh30,000 in the five years and Sh180,000 for the three decade six modules.
While appearing before Parliament, TSC boss Nancy Macharia claimed to have involved unions in coming up with the programme.
She added that TPD is anchored on career progressive guidelines.
Mrs Macharia requested the National Assembly to consider setting aside Sh4.5 billion for the training.
Data shows that there are 750,446 registered teachers in Kenya.
Of all the registered teachers 341,760 are under the TSC, 170,000 in private institutions while 238,686 are jobless.