Teachers lobby against proposal by TSC to assume regulatory powers

Kenyan Teachers National Pressure Group (KNTPG) Spokesperson Martha Omollo addressing the press in Nairobi. File Photo.

The Kenya National Teachers’ Pressure Group (KNTPG) has opposed the move by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) to assume regulatory powers by taking charge of the Continuous Professional Development (CPD) as proposed in the amendments to the TSC Act, 2012.

Through National Spokesperson Martha Omollo, the Group has asserted that by introducing the Practicing Certificate which teachers will be required to renew, the teachers’ employer should relinquish its regulatory powers to a different body since such certificates can only be issued by a professional body, of which there is none in the teaching profession.

Omollo noted that although refresher courses are good for an employee as a productivity enhancer and keeping them updated with current trends, for TSC, it is more of a punishment than equipping teachers with necessary skills.

She also opined that the Commission should not be both the employer and the regulator at the same time, and that a professional body should be created to regulate teaching just like other professions.

“In every sector of the economy, retooling is a basis of enhancing productivity and is therefore well organized and the employees are retooled to equip them with current trends in their workforce. This is not the case with TSC. In this case, it’s more of a punishment than equipping the employee with the necessary skills. In most sectors, retooling is organized and paid for by the employer,” said Omollo.

She added: “Practicing certifications are issued to professionals by professional bodies, which hitherto is non-existent in teaching. By trying to introduce practicing certificates, TSC must be very ready to cede some powers so that a professional body is formed to regulate and make teaching a profession like other professions. TSC as an employer must not be the regulator.”

According to Omollo, the duration pegged on Teacher Professional Development (TPD) is unpalatable since a module should be a short course not lasting more than six months, compared to TSC which prescribed TPD training which will last for six years.

She stressed that Article 237 3(a) of the Constitution only gives TSC mandate to review the standards of education and training of persons entering the teaching services but not those already in service, adding that it is imperative that the Commission lets the modules be introduced to a separate institution so that those who choose teaching as a career can study them thereafter.

“Training for 30 years is quite impractical. Of what use will the module be to any teacher who has less than 30 years of service to retire? How can you do a course of study without any hope of graduation?” she posed.

“Teachers must therefore stand firm and protect their rights regardless of any political affiliations since the so-called Unions will only collect dues and hide during debates, leaving teachers on their own. We must oppose these punitive policies.” She concluded.

By Our Reporter

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