Union branches to show resistance over the recently rolled out refresher training courses for teachers

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The recently introduced refresher course for practicing teachers by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) is threatening to alienate the leadership representing teachers in the country, Newskali officially established.

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Opposition to the newly introduced program has become more pronounced within branches of the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET), who have raised concerns over the teacher’s consideration of punitive requirements contained in the Teacher Professional Development (TPD) programme.

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More than 27 branches have written to the Union General Secretary, Akello Missouri, stating that they do not approve of the intended capacity building and retraining of the teacher program in its current form and want top union leaders to seek further consultation on the matter. Do it. before its implementation

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In a letter addressed to Akelo Missori, Secretary General of Kuppet, dated 24 September 2021 and seen by Newskali media, Migori Branch Executive Secretary Orwa Jasolo dismissed the program, stating that it was the employer’s responsibility to bear all the costs involved in in-service training.

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“While teachers agree that TPD is a form of employee professional development intended by employers to address gaps normally identified through research, it should be emphasized that the employer has a responsibility to have plans such as training or capacity building programmes, identifies the cost impact and budgets the estimated cost to train his employees including training units/modules, accommodation, transportation, meals and payment of strict allowances.

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In addition, the modules offered should also include both specific and transferable skills that other employers recognize,” said Jasolo in the letter.

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According to him, the position of the Migori teachers is that the union’s national leaders disregarded, neglected and misrepresented the teachers’ views on the matter and proceeded against the interests of their members to support the training.

 

“No form of training can be mandatory for all employees, including retiring employees,” Jasolo said in the letter. Jasolo said that a training program that runs throughout an employee’s entire working life (30 years in this case) is completely undesirable and should be rejected.

 

He also wondered why only four universities were listed to train more than 300,000 teachers, yet there are other institutions across the country that could practice similar.

 

“Why won’t teachers train at home? Every county has a public university. Isn’t it strange that in this age of COVID-19, someone is organizing a gathering of over 300,000 teachers in just 4 universities? ” Jasolo asked in the letter.

 

His sentiments were echoed by KUPPET Taita Taveta branch executive secretary Shedrack Mutungi, who also wrote to the union general secretary, rejecting the TPD’s roll out. “This is to inform you and Kuppet’s national leadership that teachers employed by TSC working in Taita Taveta County have completely rejected Teacher Professional Development (TPD) training,” Mutungi said in the letter.

 

He noted that the opinion of teachers in Taweta County is that it is unconstitutional to force teachers to go back to colleges and retrain, yet the program did not go through the public participation process as it is in the 2010 constitution.

 

He said that it is not possible for all teachers to be found ineligible to offer teaching services and that a refresher curriculum that would force an employee to become a full-fledged student in his/her working life is outdated

 

“This training is not an emergency and hence the employer should withdraw it and hold consultation meetings with relevant stakeholders to be consulted on the best options to undertake it. The employer should take care of the entire cost. Mutungi said

 

 

Regarding the issue of completion of TPD module as a mode for promotion of teachers, Mutungi said that teachers of Taita Taveta are of the opinion that even though the promotion should be pegged on TPD module, there are more than 300,000 teachers in TSC payroll. For this is not possible to be promoted immediately after completing a module.

 

Addressing a press conference in Mbale city, Mutungi said in the letter, “The current economic constraints have prevented wage hikes for all government employees. It is therefore immoral to ask teachers to use their small salaries to finance programmes.” , which can never be of benefit” ,

 

Vihiga Kuppet’s executive secretary, Mr Inani termed the roll out as reprehensible, misinformation and malicious. He also questioned the criteria used to select the four accredited universities to offer TPD programmes. DCI and EACC should investigate the happenings in TSC. We are issuing an ultimatum to the KUPPET National Office to issue a press statement on this issue, for which we will converge in Nairobi and reprimand them; Inani said.

 

Joseph Abincha, executive secretary of KUPPET Kisii branch, accused TSC CEO Nancy Macharia of intimidating teachers and cautioned the ministry against sabotaging teachers’ rights. “Some teachers have not completed the payment of their HELB loans. How will they pay for these refresher courses from their meager salaries? Abincha questioned.

 

So far 27 Kuppet branches including Laikipia, Baringo, Trans Nzoia, Kwale, Tana River, Makuni, Busia, West Pokot, Nyandarua, Isiolo and Wajir have protested the roll out of the TPD.

 

These concerns come after TSC, the official three teacher unions: Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT), KUPPET and Kenya Union of Special Needs Education Teachers (KUSNET), among other education stakeholders, on September 22, 2021 Teacher Professional Development (TPD) ) program at the Center for Mathematics, Science and Technology Education in Africa (CEMASTEA) Karen during the roll out.

 

The roll out will require teachers to renew their practicing certificates every five years after completing a given number of modules.

 

The programme will cost them about 186,000 for 31 years to complete all the levels and modules. Reacting to these concerns, KUPPET Deputy Secretary General Moses Nthurima said the union is aware of protests from branches and that it had written to TSC to request for suspension of the programme pending further consultations.

 

He dismissed allegations that KUPPET had signed the TPD documents saying that they were merely witnesses during the handing over of contract documents  and had no role in the partnerships.

 

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