Love for children helped ECDE teacher excel in 'women's job'

NJomo says initially people laughed at him and didn't trust him with their children but slowly warmed up to him

In Summary
  • Njomo is a teacher at Kabwe ECDE centre and says his love for children drove him to take the job.
  • Years later, some people still ask him to quit but that does not water down his passion.
Dennis Njomo playing with children at Kabwe ECDE centre in Murang'a East sub county.
Dennis Njomo playing with children at Kabwe ECDE centre in Murang'a East sub county.
Image: Alice Waithera


Dennis Njomo has always loved children and it is this love that prompted him to become an Early Childhood Development Education teacher.

Njomo, 31, has defied societal norms to work in a field that is seen as a preserve for women as it entails dealing with little children who require more attention.

He became an ECDE teacher in 2019 after being deployed to Kabwe ECDE centre near Murang’a town by the county government.

Before then, he taught lower primary classes at Gathuki-ini, Gaitheri, Gakoe and Ngechu primary schools where he was contracted by parents.

When he reported at the ECDE centre, parents were puzzled and did not think he would be able to cope with the children.

Some parents would camp at the school to observe him teaching their children as they had not seen a male teacher teach children at such a young age.

But as days went by, the fraternity of the school grew fond of him and embraced him, and eventually stopped monitoring him.

His love for children meant he was able to effortless interact with them as he taught them.

At first, members of his family were also conflicted over his choice of career and some discouraged him, advising him to find a more masculine job.

Njomo even lost some friends who opined that he was doing a woman’s job and did not want to associate with him anymore.

“But this is my passion and I did not want to leave it to please anyone. I was determined to prove them wrong,” he said.

It has not been all smooth, he said, but noted that interacting with children has been a daily source of joy for him.

He added that it is beneficial for the children to have a male figure in class as it provides some balance that is necessary for their growth.

A few months after his deployment, a female teacher who also taught at the centre retired, leaving him in charge.

This was challenging for him, he said, as children would at times soil themselves and would require to be cleaned up and have their uniform changed.

Njomo would only handle the boys and would seek the help of a grade one teacher to clean up the girls.

“After that, I would wash their uniforms and pack them in their bags to take home in the evening,” he said.

He said the society should embrace people like him who choose to venture in jobs that go against societal norms.

“It is unfortunate that some people still push me to leave this job. Some people laugh at me when I introduce myself as an ECDE teacher but it never disheartens me,” he said.

Njomo has a certificate in ECDE training and is pursuing a diploma to enhance children handling skills.

Kabwe Primary School head teacher Michael Muchoki said Njomo is an exemplary ECDE teacher and that there is a clear difference between the children he teaches and those taught by the previous teachers.

He said Njomo’s deployment to the centre came as a shock to him too but he embraced the change and immediately noticed how good he was with the children.

“He is now  part of our team and we even give him chores in the primary school as well,” Muchoki said. 

He hailed him as a dedicated teacher who is conversant with the CBC, adding that he is the best teacher for the children.

His sentiments were echoed by Catherine Njeri, an ECDE parent, who said her child is always excited to go to school which she attributed to the good relationship with the teacher.

“My daughter is able to tell me everything she learns when she comes home from school. She loves him so much that she only misses school when she is unwell.”

Murang’a East ECDE coordinator Grace Njoroge said the subcounty has only two male ECDE teachers.

She said Njomo stands out in his work and has been doing an excellent job in moulding the young children.

“I have never received a complaint from anyone about him,” she said, adding that ECDE jobs are open to both men and women and urging men not to shy away from such opportunities.





-Edited by SKanyara

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