Bridge Schools Kenya has lauded its teachers across the Country for their commitment joining the globe in celebrating the World Teachers’ Day.
Marked annually on 5th October, the 2021 celebrations are focusing on the theme “Teachers at the heart of education recovery”.
This after the challenges witnessed during the COVID-19 pandemic which have affected access to quality education.
According to Bridge, teachers have been at the forefront offering mitigation responses such as leveraging on technology creatively to facilitate remote learning and reaching children at risk of falling behind with home learning materials.
Teachers have been dubbed pandemic heroes after going out of their way to support learners especially after the Government closed all learning institutions countrywide after the announcement of the first case of COVID-19 in Kenya.
Teachers were forced to adapt to new ways of teaching and mentoring their students to cover gaps occasioned by the closure.
Vincent Juma is one such hero teacher, he went out of his way to ensure pupils from Kingston community in Nairobi continued to learn at home.
Juma says that internet coverage is a big problem in the community since not everyone has access to a smartphone or a computer.
Together with his colleagues, Juma informed parents about the Bridge at home learning resources and distributed learning materials via parents’ WhatsApp groups.
“It took a lot of effort and individual outreach to help pupils and parents and ensure that pupils are able to continue learning at home,” He says.
Catherine Wanjiku a Bridge teacher from Kutus in Kirinyaga County has also been celebrated for making a big difference in the lives of her pupils and their families during and after the COVID-19 period.
Wanjiku says that when in-person classes resumed, she was cognizant of the need to help children adjust to the new normal. This included keeping children occupied, safe, and keeping up with schoolwork as best as possible.
“Children look up to adults for guidance on how to react to difficult circumstances. I have always taught my pupils positive preventive measures, talking with them about their fears, and giving them a sense of control over their risk of infection. This has helped reduce anxiety and allowed pupils to concentrate on their class work.” She says.
Bridge Kenya believes that strong teachers are key to superior learning outcomes.
The institution has embraced technology to enable teachers to collect information about pupils’ understanding throughout lessons.
Bridge Kenya Managing Director Reuben Wambugu, says they use technology as a supplemental tool to allow teachers to maxmise the learning time.
“Technology enables teachers to focus more on teaching the pupils rather than planning. Teachers are freed to concentrate on supporting the pupils and giving special time to those who are struggling,” He says.
Wambugu said teachers must be supported, trained and empowered saying at Bridge they provide teachers with resources that they need to teach effectively.
“There will be no education recovery without teachers. Even in ordinary times, teachers are always at the centre of learning within an education system. Teachers serve various roles in the classroom among them building a safe and conducive learning environment, mentoring and nurturing pupils and providing differentiated learning experiences,” He said.