EDUCATION AND TRAINING

Support teachers for better results

In many low and middle-income countries, including Kenya, teaching can be an extremely challenging profession.

In Summary
  • In some areas, following hours of walking to school, learners are tired and weary and sadly to say, are at times hungry.
  • In all this, teachers are expected to educate the next generation of doctors, lawyers, scientists and engineers, who will lay the path to prosperity for their families and communities.
Std Three pupils at Nachuru Primary School in Tiaty subcounty
Std Three pupils at Nachuru Primary School in Tiaty subcounty
Image: FILE

Teaching is a passionate vocation for many. It is one of the most important jobs in the world, but often teachers working where they are most needed have little help, training or support. This is why a new campaign called #TeachersTransformLives to celebrate teachers and advocate for more support that will help them do well in class has been launched.

In many low and middle-income countries, including Kenya, teaching can be an extremely challenging profession. Once trained, teachers can find themselves teaching in a range of challenging situations — overcrowded classes; lacking specific feedback for continuous training; insufficient books for the pupils and poor school infrastructure.

In some areas, following hours of walking to school, learners are tired and weary and sadly to say, are at times hungry. The school day is often a short section between their chores at home in the morning and those that will follow their long walk home.

 
 

In all this, teachers are expected to educate the next generation of doctors, lawyers, scientists and engineers, who will lay the path to prosperity for their families and communities.

Today, roughly half of all children are not learning even the most basic maths and literacy, which is why many say the global learning crisis is actually teaching.

Teachers have the ability to transform lives: The lives of generations after generations. Every child that sits keenly listening and at times staring up at them is waiting to be inspired, motivated and challenged. They hope to come out of the classroom knowing more than when they went in.

It seems a Herculean task to tackle but it doesn’t have to be that way.

Teachers have the ability to transform lives: The lives of generations after generations. Every child that sits keenly listening and at times staring up at them is waiting to be inspired, motivated and challenged. They hope to come out of the classroom knowing more than when they went in.

Creating an environment that enables teachers to excel and thrive is essential for children to learn. Teachers need to be encouraged and empowered so that they can be successful in their classrooms. It is unreasonable to expect that a teacher with limited materials or support can excel or improve learning outcomes.

Like all professions, teachers need continous training and development. They need to feel that what they do matters and see the evidence of learning after all their hard work. They need materials and resources that will enable them to teach to the best of their ability; plus encouragement and feedback that will help them to grow.

Helping teachers deliver child-centric lessons in an interactive way; narrating the positive and providing ongoing training and development all helps teachers teach and ultimately children learn.

 
 

That’s why the new campaign - #TeachersTransformLives - is shining a light on inspirational teachers whose teaching has been transformed through a tripartite programme of materials, support and development. An approach to teaching that is helping teachers transform young lives; by improving learning outcomes; excelling in challenging environments and developing the leaders of tomorrow.

Under #TeachersTransformLives hashtag, teachers share their stories of how their teaching has changed and enabled them to turn their classrooms into springboards for success. Laura Orlando from Bridge Academy in Gicagi in Kangemi and others are some of those who have changed the way they teach and delight in sharing their success.

Every teacher can succeed with the requisite support. That’s the main message of the new campaign designed to highlight the importance of training and empowering teachers across the world. If we want learning outcomes to improve we must focus on supporting teachers.

Schools director, Kenya, Bridge International Academies