At the beginning of 2021, we visited the Kenya Primary School Headteachers Association (KEPSHA) with a single request: we needed a teacher to join us in developing contextualized tools for measuring life skills and values. We immediately received feedback with a name of one Margaret Nzioka, a Headteacher at Karenge Primary School in Lari constituency, Kiambu County. At that time, we were clueless on why she was selected to join the panel. Now, almost two years of working with her, in retrospect we have five (5) reasons as to why she was selected and more so why she is the best worth being celebrated during the 2022 World Teacher’s Day.
It is her compassion for children especially those who are furthest left behind. Through empathy, Teacher Margaret has been able to connect with her learners. With love, she has been able to enforce discipline which has in turn propelled high academic achievement. With one year of her posting, Karenge primary has registered a mean score of 246 in 2021 from 192 in 2020 out of 500 marks in the Kenya Primary Certificate Education (KCPE).
It is her passion. Teacher Margaret loves being an educator she sees this as an opportunity shape the future of young children. She is a role model to her learners and this has instilled the passion for learning in them.
It is her dedication. Teacher Margaret is committed to her learners. Everyday, she wakes up aiming to change their lives and to enable them to live to their maximum potential. At our tool development workshops, she was punctual, ready to learn the intricacies of developing assessment tools for life skills and values such as collaboration, respect, self-awareness and problem solving.
It is her hard work. She believes that it is a responsibility of the teachers to mold children, ‘we need to apply ourselves in everything that we do’. Throughout the arduous journey of tool development, Teacher Margaret had a positive attitude and got into the trenches of especially developing tasks for the respect. She completed assignments and met all expectations.
It is her attitude for excellence. Teacher Margaret believes that her students are able to change this world. Therefore, she expects nothing short of excellence. She teaches Math and English and inspires her learners to achieve their dreams through diligence, persistence and continuous improvement.
Teachers are bestowed the responsibility of imparting knowledge and skills to children and youth. Many times, children are compared to sponges, they absorb what is around them. They learn by example from the people around them. At an impressionable age, children observe their parents and teachers and imitate their actions. It is the duty of teachers to have a positive impact on their learners. And this is what Teacher Margaret has been. Through Teacher Margaret, Karenge Primary school has been transformed within just one year. Learners who were not able to express themselves in either English or Swahili are now able to communicate using the National languages. Parental agency and engagement in the school has now increased. Parents have come together to mobilize resources for infrastructural projects in the school.
On this day we celebrate all the selfless teachers like Teacher Margaret whose everyday objective is to shape learners into responsible citizens through their compassion, passion, dedication, hard work and excellence.
Dr.Purity Ngina and Faith Mukiria are part of the team at Zizi Afrique Foundation, For feedback, send an email to email@example.com