18 MPs Support Milemba’s Petition On TPD, Question TSC’s Intentions Concerning The Modules
More than 17 legislators have supported the petition presented in the national assembly by Member of Parliament Omboko Milemba, who doubles up as the National Chairman of Kenya Union of Post Primary Education (KUPPET). The petition is meant to make TSC withdraw the directive for refresher training of teachers after every five years.
On behalf of other three union members of Nairobi branch, Milemba tabled the petition before the August House, stating that despite the fact that teachers are directly affected by the Teacher Professional Development (TPD) policy, TSC did not involve teachers in the preparation of the policy framework for the TPD and its subsequent roll-out, contrary to the mandatory requirements of Article 232(1) (d) of the Constitution.
He added that without consulting teachers, TSC had committed the teachers to paying Shs 6,000 for each module and Shs 180,000 for the entire programme.
‘TSC has not given a public address to the teachers and other education stakeholders the considerations it used to arrive at the exorbitant cost per module,’ he further explained.
He stated that it is in the public domain that teachers are underpaid and that most of them have stagnated at the same job group for a period varying between 10 and 20 years and that with the recently signed non- monetary Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), it is insensitive for TSC to require underpaid teachers to pay a whopping Kshs180, 000 for a certification programme.
Milemba observed that fair international labour practices demand that an employer who comes up with compulsory capacity strengthen programmes for its employees should cater for the cost of the retraining.
‘Under very unclear circumstances, TSC selected only four institutions all based in Nairobi region to offer the training to teachers drawn from all over the country,’ he added. He argued that given the fact that basic education is for the public good, the professional development of teachers ought to be approached holistically and that the certification process is standardized under the ambit of the Ministry of Education and not the Teachers Service Commission.
He added that: ‘The decision by TSC to manage teachers’ professional development and regulate the teaching profession is a departure from the established practice where professions have self-regulatory mechanisms and bodies that are distinct from employers.’
The KUPPET boss noted that to achieve a well-coordinated and holistic approach, the TPD Programme ought to have been integrated in the ongoing capacity strengthening programmes for teachers on the Competency Based Curriculum so as to avoid duplication of government effort, waste of public resources and subjecting teachers to bearing the burden of a mandatory programme.
“If TSC is not restrained from implementing the Teacher Professional Development Programme, the right of teachers and stakeholders under Article 232(1) (d) of the Constitution stand the risk of being prejudice,” said Milemba.
The 17 Members of Parliament who supported and commented on the petition questioned the criteria the commission used to select the four universities. They further questioned the choice of private universities.
“I also have an issue with how the universities were picked. Why on earth would you pick Riara at the expense of the University of Nairobi or Moi University? It does not make sense. I am not trying to look down on those universities, but Mount Kenya? Riara? Even if I am asked to choose which university to go to for refresher course, would i choose Mount Kenya University?” asked John Mbadi (Suba South MP). Others who supported the petition include:
Apart from John Mbadi, 17 other Mps have also the petition by Omboko Milemba, and have questioned the intention of TSC concerning TPD. They are:
Hon. Jared Okelo (Nyando)
David ole Sankok (Jubilee Nominated MP),
Daniel Maanzo (Makueni),
Majimbo Kalasinga (Kabuchai),
Dr. Chris Wamalwa (Kiminin
Dr. Robert Pukose (Endebes),
George Gitonga (Tharaka),
Didmus Barasa (Kimilili),
Ms. Martha Wangari (Gilgil),
Hon. Richard Onyonka (Kitutu Chache),
Gideon Koske (Chepalungu),
Owen Baya (Kilifi North),
Mutunga (Tigania West),
David Ochieng’ (Ugenya),
Haika Mizighi (Taita Taveta)
Wilson Sossion (Nominated MP).