The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) has revealed that the four institutions it accredited to offer the Teacher Professional Development (TPD) programme were competitively identified through a procurement process and flexible payment mode agreed upon.
TSC Director of Quality Assurance and Standards (DQAS) Dr. Reuben Nthamburi said the service providers were identified competitively, negotiated about the programme and agreed to look for flexible ways through which the teachers will pay the annual Sh 6,000 fee.
According to Dr. Nthamburi, they agreed with service providers to break down the annual fee into two flexible modes of payments whereby a teacher will either pay Sh. 500 per month for 12 months or can pay Sh. 20 every day through an MPESA mode of a given institution.
“The Service Providers were identified competitively through a procurement process, and we negotiated this programme with them. In this programme, teachers will be paying Sh. 6000 per year and they will not be compelled to pay once the whole amount. We have agreed with service providers they would look for a flexible mode of payment and they are two of them,” he said.
Dr. Nthamburi who represented the Commission’s Chief Executive Officer Dr. Nancy Macharia, was addressing the Senate Committee on Education chaired by Dr. Alice Milgo and Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) on CBC sensitization in Naivasha most recently.
Questions have been raised by different stakeholders in the past on the manner in which the Commission reached to a decision of accrediting the four institutions to train the teachers on TPD, and also why they accredited Private Universities at the expense of the Public Universities with some wondering why the Commission could not then accredit all Public Universities countrywide to offer the TPD programme.
The Commission accredited Riara, Kenyatta and Mount Kenya Universities, and Kenya Education Management Institute (KEMI) to offer the programme for the next four years.
Dr. Nthamburi reiterated that the refresher course will help to remunerate the teachers even better and they (TSC) are having negotiations with the teachers unions and associations in order to capacity build and make them understand the value of TPD.
“The reason why we are having a challenge today with even the way the remuneration of teachers is, you go and argue at the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC); one of the aspect is, what professional development do they do to develop themselves?”
It has come out clear that over 300,000 unemployed teachers will be required to dig dipper into their pockets for upgrading to Diploma in Primary Teacher Education in order to be Competency-Based Compliant (CBC) with no hopes of automatic absorption by the Commission.
Dr. Nthamburi stated that the teachers themselves will pay for the upgrading programme and that the aspect of fairness as stipulated in the employment policies will be observed, hence they will be looking at all the modalities within the policy on how the teachers would be absorbed.
“It is not an automatic aspect that after they finish the 9 months they would be picked and taken to class because it would again be raised; what about those who didn’t go and it was not their mistake? So that has to be sorted out amicably but within the policy,” he said.
This means that despite the teachers going for the upgrading programme, they will have to wait longer to be employed and if they will not be CBC compliant then their chances of being employed will be very minimal since the Commission has emphasised that the system of education in the country currently is CBC.
“The truth of the matter let it be told; the country has decided to go the CBC way. The system of education is no longer the way it was. Now, if it’s that one and you want to be a teacher, and you had gone through the other one then, you as a teacher you are not meeting the requirements,” stated Dr. Nthamburi.
An analysis of the September 2021 College Fees Structures by various Teachers Colleges that Education News carried out in a good number of TTCs revealed that the teachers will be required to pay between Sh 65,000 to Sh 68,000 for Public TTCs while Private TTCs charges between Sh 79,000 and Sh 84,000.
Director Nthamburi revealed that the Commission has been receiving cases of teachers who are posted to schools and are unable to teach the CBC classes notably Grades 1 to 5 because the teacher is simply not CBC compliant hence need of unemployed teachers going for the upgrading training programme.
He reiterated that the upgrade programme is basically to make the unemployed teachers to be CBC compliant, make the [unemployed] teachers reach the level of now the Diploma in Primary Teacher Education (DPTE) and to be at par with those who will graduate with DPTE, and also help the Commission to effectively deal with their salaries and motivation.