Students Hire a Lawyer to Challenge TPD in Court
Education students from pwani university want the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) to halt the TPD training it is planning to roll out next week.
They are also demanding that the government incorporates the Teacher Professional Development(TPD) modules as a unit in their four year under graduate programme rather than waiting for them to complete college then subject them to modules lasting 30 years.
They said this would enable students get the skills required by the TSC for licensing without the need to be subjected to continuous learning at their cost.
They said they are sending, through a lawyer, a petition to the courts since the government has violated Article 10 of the Constitution of Kenya 2010.
The petitioners will only be enjoined at the appeal stage since there is a similar case which is still ongoing at the courts.
Joseph Ngethe Karanja filed a petition challenging the TPD program. In a petition filed at the High Court in Nakuru, Ngethe sued the TSC, Education Cabinet Secretary, Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers, Kenya National Union of Teachers, Kenyatta University, Mt Kenya University, Riara University and Kenya Education Management Institute.
Ngethe, in the suit, argued that the decision to have teachers undergo mandatory refresher training violates teachers’ rights.
“Teachers and education stakeholders were not engaged by TSC in the development of the content of the module to be undertaken in the professional development programme,” says Ngethe in the petition.
Though the case was certified as urgent, Justice David Nderitu of the Employment and Labour Relations Court declined to suspend the TPD programme as directed by the petitioner who wanted all parties to be served by the order before the hearing.
Led by the Pwani University Students Association (PUSA) Secretary General Miss Lavender Okello, the students said they were opposed to the programme and threatened to seek court redress claiming the teachers’ employer violated the Constitution by not subjecting the proposal to public participation.
Already the four TPD service providers have set 26th December 2021 as the last day for teachers to register for the programme saying they need time for logistics and planning.
The training which will take five days will start on 27th December and will be through an online platform.
Miss Okello said she would mobilize all education undergraduate students in Kenya to oppose the
programme that she said would increase the financial woes of teachers since the employer
wanted the teachers to pay for the modules.
“I have tried to talk to the Kenya University Students Association but the leadership seems to be afraid to talk about TPD. As a leader representing education students, I will mobilize all education undergraduate students in the country to fight for our rights,” she said. .
She lamented that many teachers who had graduated from university and other teacher training institutions had remained jobless for years and wondered where the unemployed teachers would get the money to study the modules.
Miss Okello said if the programme has to be implemented, the government should emulate Ghana, which she said introduced an allowance for teachers to undertake the TPD programme.