Teachers Professional Developments TPD case lands in court

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A Kenyan court has certified a case filed by Joseph Karanja on Teachers Profession Development Program as urgent. Mr. Karanja, who is the petitioner in this matter sought to challenge the Teachers Service Commission TSC and Ministry Of Education MoE on the implementation of PDT that has attracted public outcry since it’s launch.

        Photograph of Justice David Nderitu

Employment and Labour Relations Court through Justice David Nderitu failed to grant the wishes of the petitioner to have the implementation of the government programme suspended as per the wishes of Mr. Karanja but instead directed him to have all the interested parties served with the same. In his directive, Justice David Nderitu set the hearing October 7 of this year.

However, Justice Nderitu uptly observed that the issues in which the petitioner was seeking intervention in the petition is weighty and draws a lot of public interest. The court, as he did mention, will take its time and do due justice to it in all fairness.

It is there expected that soon, Mr Karanja files and serves all the respondents in the case which are:- The Teachers Service Commission TSC, that is the teachers employer. The Education Cabinet Secretary, Ministry Of Education, MoN. The Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers, KUPPET. The Kenya National Union of Teachers, KNUT. The three learning institutions to offer the training on TPD, Kenyatta University, Riara University and Kenyatta University and Kenya Education Management Institute.

The aforementioned parties, in his directive, must be served by the petitioner (Karanja), Mr. Nderitu ordered to ensure pleading on all the parties involved. Mr. Karanja noted that the decision to have teachers forcefully undertake the refresher training is a gross violation of their rights as professionals in this country. The launch of the TPD program by TSC was held on September 22. The listed universities have since commenced the registration process of teachers amidst heated protestation from the larger section of teachers from the public schools, TSC has thus hinted at pegging promotions to it and also use it as a parameter during teachers recruitment exercise country wide in the coming days.

One of the highly contested elements of the TPD training program is the demand on the more 300, 000 teachers to part with ksh 6000 annually for the training. The in-service is intended to last 30 years upon which, certificate of the said teachers get renewed.

The program ensures teachers undertake six modules. Each module lasts five years. The training, as earlier mentioned, will be undertaken at only three selected universities, Kenyatta University, Riara University, Kenya Education Management Institute and Mt Kenya University, out all the existing Kenyan universities.

A major point of concern that will form the petitioners plea for justice is the failure of both TSC and Ministry Of Education to conduct public participation on especially teachers and other interested education stakeholders in the development of the content of the module.

The petitioner, argued that TSC in its rollout of the programme acted in secrecy and worse still, without the involvement of its teachers, who happen to be the key consumers of the hurried programme. He said TSC grossly violated the Constitution. Mr Karanja further observed that most teachers are advanced in age and may not complete the training while still actively in service making the exercise redundant to them.

The petitioner is highly set to plead with the court of the land to issue a declaration that the teachers’ employer TSC, acted in contravention of the constitution in its formulation and seeking to implement the TPD programme. The Teachers Professional Development program is thus unconstitutional.




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