My first week of orientation at World Teacher Aid

My first day of work at World Teacher Aid was exciting and I could not wait to begin working as a field officer. I engaged and worked with my colleague Sam, who is well versed with the area and has experience working within the organization. I was eager to learn from him, through verbal narrations on his experience on the job and in constructive discussions on the key roles demanded in the job. I was also open to engaging with the relevant people from the different communities we were visiting, all in a quest to understand the different environs better and the impact our activities would add to their lives.

Fast forward, I met up with Sam at a local restaurant in Nakuru. His passion for the job could clearly be seen from his non-verbal expressions on what his job entails and, more so, the expectations he had of me. I was armed with a notebook, ready to jot down all he had to offer.

First on the list was to visit Shalom Primary School and Springs Secondary School. We would later pass by Sun Marco Primary School, all with the aim of familiarizing myself with the different schools within the area. We boarded a van from a matatu (van) terminus in Nakuru and proceeded to our destination. The journey took almost forty minutes from the Nakuru Central Business District. I was not sure of what to expect from the schools, but within me, I had a feeling of optimism. We then alighted from the van and boarded a motorcycle that drove us to the destination of the school.

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The beautiful scenery of the school surpassed my expectations.

The cool breeze and serenity were way different from that of the city. The infrastructure within the school was just phenomenal and neatly organized. I was particularly impressed by the flowers and trees within the school. I later learned that most of the flowers and trees planted were through the initiative of the school’s environmental club.

We also had the privilege of talking to the deputy head teacher, Mrs Regina, on the progress of the school and the preparedness of its candidates towards the forthcoming national examinations. We were pretty inspired by the candidate’s efforts and sacrifice to ensure that they had utilized their limited time consulting their teachers, allocating part of their free time in tackling revision papers and indulging in group discussions, all with the aim of sharing more knowledge with each other. I was keen to notice the consistent transition in grades in the short time span in which Shalom Primary School has been in existence. The gradual shift was from 212 Marks (an average C grade) in 2012 to 239 Marks (an average C+) in 2016, despite the various social, political and economic constraints that these children undergo in their day-to-day endeavours. She talked about the political upheavals and how they had a ripple effect on the past examination outcomes. Moreover, she was optimistic about the outcome of the forthcoming examinations.

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Students preparing for a revision paper

After a lot of dialogue with the teachers and some of the pupils, we walked to Springs High School, which is adjacent to Shalom Primary School. There we were able to interact with members of the teaching and non-teaching staff. We also had an opportunity to interact with Mrs Elidah who offers guidance and counselling services to the community within that environment. She also interacts with girls from different grades over her lunch break, all in a quest to establish solutions towards the problems they face.

We later boarded a motorcycle and went to Sun Marco Primary School. We reached the school only to find a burial taking place within a nearby site, in which a 12-year-old girl from a neighbouring school had succumbed to cancer. We met Mr Thuo, who is the current chairman of Sun Marco Primary School. During our talk, he reassured us that he was indeed committed to ensuring that Sun Marco Primary School was the best in the region.

After a brief tour of the area, we walked towards the main road. One thing that was certain was that farming seemed to be the main source of people’s livelihood within the area. This was clearly visible by the presence of beautiful maize and beans plantations within the area. We boarded a bus back to the town area and parted ways towards different directions. It was indeed quite an exciting experience.

Day Two

On my second day, we managed to meet at the Nakuru main stage before heading to Subukia. I was excited and could not wait to reach the destination. After driving for more than an hour we alighted at Kahiga Shopping Centre, which is located right before Subukia town. We then boarded two motorcycles which took us to Safina Haji Primary School. On our way there, we were met by abrupt rain and muddy terrain, however; that did not deter us from the mission ahead of us. My high affinity for nature would not let me take my eyes off the humongous blue gum trees within the area. There were also massive maize plantations with clear indications that the harvesting season was almost due.

On reaching Safina Haji, I was amused at the sight and location of the school. The view from uphill was probably one of the most beautiful scenes I have ever seen. We were embraced by young children (probably lower classes) within the school. The amount of infrastructure within the school indeed felt conducive to learning. Most toddlers were really fond of Sam, and often referred to him as the “cameraman.” Next to the school was a huge, black water tank, which I came to learn would later serve as a source of water, not only for the school but the community. The local government had also made an initiative to build a one-room kindergarten next to the main school area but was still in its foundation stages.

We walked to Safina Haji Secondary School, which was situated a few blocks from the primary school. The presence of the green highlands and the beautiful Solai Lake made the area look even more attractive. There we met up with Mr David who was the chairperson of the “Parent Teachers Association.” He explained the various hiccups they faced while running the school. The presence of an up-to-standards laboratory would not go unnoticed. After extensive dialogue with the Chairman and most of the teachers, we walked back home across the muddy roads.

I was really overwhelmed by the kind reception and co-operation we got from all the schools we visited.

My hope is that I will be able to learn new ideas and also establish new frameworks that will go a long way in ensuring that these schools become the best in the country. I’m really inspired by the selfless work World Teacher Aid has done towards ensuring that there is up-to-standards infrastructure, and conducive learning environments, all in a bid to enhance sustainable education and enhancement of mental growth. Long live World Teacher Aid!

 

PhilipPhilip Muiga Mwangi is a highly dedicated professional with a progressive career in Bachelor of Commerce, Finance Option. He is self-driven, ambitious, innovative, analytical, a fast learner, and a true team player with good interpersonal skills. He possesses a great desire and drive to prosper in all work that he ventures into. He has also acquired five years of relevant working experience from working in different organizations within the real estate, logistics, government and Investment sectors. He has a passion for helping less privileged members within the community within his surroundings, having participated in various charitable events in the past.

Philip currently resides in Thika, Nairobi Kenya. He has a great passion for reading motivational books, playing chess, traveling, singing, listening to music, watching movies, socializing, filling crosswords and poetry writing. Philip is determined in ensuring he has positively impacted World Teacher Aid through ensuring that all his assigned objectives are met. He has the enthusiasm for World Teacher Aid and is willing to gear up all his knowledge, experience and skills towards making the organization a better place.