PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Blow to TSC as court halts training for teachers

The commission unveiled the new policy in April last year, requiring teachers to undertake the training after every five years or face the sack.

In Summary

• However, TSC termed the court decision erroneous and will be moving to court to challenge it.

• Knut argued that the TPD programme would alter the terms and conditions of service for its members and they should be engaged prior to its roll out. 

TSC CEO Nancy Macharia.
TSC CEO Nancy Macharia.
Image: COLLINS LANGAT

Teachers Service Commission has suffered a blow after a Labor court halted the implementation of professional development training programmes that would determine the promotion of teachers.

The court observed that there being no regulation promulgated by TSC on the TPD programmes, there is no valid TPD programme for implementation.

“The teacher’s professional development (TPD) modules in dispute shall not be implemented as they fall short of professional development programs as may be prescribed by the teacher’s service commission," Employment and Labor relations Judge Byrum Ongaya said on Friday.

 

However, TSC termed the court decision erroneous and will be moving to court to challenge it.

"We are considering the judgement and we are highlighting the areas where the judge erred in law and in facts and we shall be moving to court as a matter of urgency," TSC lawyer Timon Oyucho told the Star yesterday.

The court said the commission is expressly authorised to issue the TPD by way of a regulation.  The TPD programmes apply to all registered teachers and not only the members of KNUT or the teachers in the employment of TSC.

“The TPD programmes are to be prescribed by regulation. And the TPD programmes in dispute have not been issued by way of a regulation through parliamentary safeguards,” said Ongaya.

Knut argued that the TPD programme would alter the terms and conditions of service for its members and they should be engaged prior to its roll out.

The TPD’s would have seen more than 312,060 teachers pay for the professional upgrade courses, which were to be conducted during holidays.

The commission unveiled the new policy in April last year, requiring teachers to undertake the training after every five years or face the sack.

 

Each level of the training was to take five years and is structured such that teachers will transit from one stage to the next until the sixth during their teaching careers spanning 25-30 years.

Regarding performance measurement tools, the judge directed TSC to convene validation meetings for finalising the performance measurement tools by December 1 for a roll out in January next year.

TSC shall then institute administrative steps for availing the tools to the individual teachers at their respective stations of deployment.

The judge said it is clear that Knut participated in the development of tools by way of meetings and benchmarking studies.

During hearing the commission had told the court that any attempt to stop performance measurement as being championed by KNUT would be unconstitutional. The commission argued that performance management tools are management privileges of any employer used to measure productivity of employees and cannot be stopped.

“It is against known labour practice world over for employees to dictate to the employer how they wish or ought to have their performance evaluated…,” said TSC’s lawyer

TSC will also be required to undertake teacher promotion in accordance with the relevant provisions of Code of Regulations of Teachers and the schemes of service with respect to all unionisable teachers eligible to join Knut.

While making that finding, the court observed that the parties may consider reviewing the prevailing schemes of service with a view of bringing them into alignment with the prevailing CBA pay structure without derogating from the provisions pf the CORT on teacher promotion.