The children in Laikipia North, a pastoralist community, are eager to learning. This passion is shared by both learners and teachers. The learners are proud of their teachers whom they call ‘Olaiteng’enani’ (Maa word for teacher). Many success stories could be shared of teachers who have thrived in this diverse community which is well known for its rich culture. This community has come a long way in preserving their culture and environment, a strength that is well known and recognized across the world. Education plays a vital role at harnessing this strength.
One of the teachers shared his story of his day with you. Francis, who was born and raised in Laikipia North among the Maa community, works in one of the schools located in rural Laikipia North sub-county. He can be counted among the successful teachers in the region who have braved the challenges of working in such areas.
Like many other teachers in the region, Francis is self-driven and committed to his work and the success of his learners. He has big dreams for his learners and supports them to achieve it. Francis teachers lower primary and his role is very important is laying a good foundation for the learners at this early stages of their education. Francis has been teaching for just over 2 years as an employed teacher at Kimanjo primary. He has had a long commitment to teacher. Previously, while he was in teaching college, he worked as a volunteer during his holiday at Naiperere primary.
Francis day typically starts off at about 5am which is common practice as many teachers have to cover a long distance to get to the schools, average of more than 10 KM for a one way trip. Francis and his follow teachers are in school by 7am to prepare for the day’s activities. Between 7 and 8am, most teachers dedicate this time to support students who need help with remedial classes and prepare for the days lessons. The official school hours starts off with an assembly at 8am which is an interaction of the learners and teachers which takes a short time. The lower grade classes have 6 lessons and is only active half the day. Francis then uses his afternoon to plan for the next day lesson, mark assignments, develop teaching materials as well as engage his learners in extra –curriculum activities. In the evening, he catches a boda boda (motorcycle) or probox (minibus) home in the company of others teachers since they are not housed within the school compound. They share their day’s highlights and challenges and other community news. In the evening, as a parent , he enjoys helping his own children doing their homework and teaching them new things.
Francis describes himself as a committed, hardworking and passionate teacher. His biggest concern is the absenteeism of students which he describes as the one thing he struggles with as a teacher.
Written by Ng’ang’a Kibanda