A tussle has emerged over who is to foot the bill to retrain a total of 750,000 teachers in the newly rolled out Teacher Professional Development programme.
The programme was unveiled by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) and is expected to cost the taxpayer a whopping Ksh4.5 billion. With this approach, it means that all the tutors will be expected to renew their certificates every five years.
In the initial rollout of the programme, the Commission had indicated that the teachers themselves would foot the bill of acquiring their own certifications. This sparked widespread protests, with the teachers, through their unions, pushing the employer to meet the refresher training costs.
The National Assembly’s Education Committee, however, is of the view that the government should include the programme in its annual budget, so that teachers do not bear the burden of bettering their skills as requiring by TSC.
“The committee recommends that the Teacher Professional Development programme being a training initiated by the employer should be paid for by the government,” stated the committee in a statement according to the Business Daily.
If approved, Kenyans would be forced to dig deeper into their pockets to send hundreds of thousands of teachers across the country back to class.
There are over 750,000 teachers who are expected to undertake the programme including 341,760 attached to TSC, 170,000 working in Private Sector and 238,686 unemployed.
The new regulations were announced in September 2021 and are aimed at ensuring that tutors stay competent throughout their teaching careers and adapt to the new changes. The training will also capture the Competency Based Curriculum – CBC and standardize knowledge sharing approaches.
So far, the programme has been rolled out in various institutions of higher learning including Mount Kenya University and Kenyatta University.