According to the Teachers Service Commission (TSC), all registered teachers are required to undergo Teacher Professional Development (TPD) and renew their licence to teach every five years. TPD is an activity that teachers undertake to improve their pedagogical and management skills and the TSC coordinated TPD is currently being rolled out by various educational institutions.
The CBC Training team recently conducted a survey asking teachers what they find to be the main challenge in the kind of TPD that is available to them. These were the findings:
Failure to address individual teacher performance gaps
Many of the available TPD programmes are based on the Kenya Professional Teaching Standards (KePTS) which describe what a Kenyan teacher should know and be able to do for improved learning outcomes. TPD is structured into six sequential levels based on the competency of the teachers. It takes a teacher 5 years to complete a module for a particular level.
For a teacher who has already undergone significant training on teaching as well as the new curriculum, what the programme offers is not new in most cases. The general focus of the programmes on KePTS fails to account for performance gaps faced by individual teachers.
Failure to contextualise the training
Many of the available TPD programmes fail to account for the different contexts of teachers who are based in different parts of the country. While the standards remain similar, some of the challenges experienced by teachers are based on the contexts in which they teach. A teacher based in Lamu will most likely experience different challenges when it comes to delivery compared to a teacher based in Migori.
The programmes do not provide equal opportunity to all teachers
The TSC has so far accredited Mount Kenya University, Kenyatta University, Riara University, and Kenya Education Management Institute (KEMI) to implement the TPD programmes. Teachers are required to enrol and undertake a TPD programme on face-to-face sessions once a year during a school holiday. For the remaining two holidays, teachers will undertake TPD online.
The consequence is that for one holiday, teachers based in the different parts of the country will either have to travel to the main campuses of the accredited institutions or one of their satellite campuses. This will result in them incurring other costs in addition to the Kes. 6000 they are required to pay annually. It is also evident that it is easier for the teachers in certain parts of the country to attend.
What do you think about these findings? Do you think that we can further adapt the TPD curriculum for different teachers based on their needs and challenges? What do you think about the idea of renewing licences?