Kenyan Teacher Nominated for Ksh100M Award After Tabichi's Win

  • Linah Onyango poses for a photo during the Micrtosoft reactor Conference in San Fransisco, USA, on October 20, 2019.
    Linah Onyango poses for a photo during the Microsoft Reactor Conference in San Fransisco, USA, on October 20, 2019..jpg
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  • A Kenyan teacher from Changamwe Secondary School in Mombasa has made it to the top 50 shortlisted candidates for the 2020 Global Teachers Prize (GTP).

    According to the GTP website, Linah Anyango has been shortlisted for her efforts in making a positive impact in the lives of students in marginalized schools, using both education and cultural means.

    "Since girls were performing poorly in sciences, Linah started the Girls in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Club to inspire them to take up STEM courses and careers after high school. 

    "To connect with her students more generally, she also started a cultural music club, which enabled them to open up, share and appreciate each other’s cultures.

    "This boosted many of the pupils’ self-esteem, helping them believe in themselves and consequently leading to reduced absenteeism," the GTP website praised Lina's efforts.

    Mwalimu Peter Tabichi, a member of the Franciscan religious order, won the 2019 Global Teacher Prize, on March 24, 2019.
    Mwalimu Peter Tabichi, a member of the Franciscan religious order, won the 2019 Global Teacher Prize, on March 24, 2019.
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    It further added that Linah shifted her focus from improving the students' grades to developing their knowledge, skills, values, and attitudes.

    She reportedly did this by incorporating technology in the classes, in effect boosting the engagement of students, improving their problem-solving capacities and also enabling them to upgrade their communication skills.

    As a result of her efforts, the school is reported to have presented two girls teams in the National Science Fair, one which was selected to represent the country in the ESKOM Fair in South Africa, and also presented their work to President Uhuru Kenyatta.

    Linah is also credited with having trained and coached more than 200 teachers from nearby schools on ICT infusion in education, which led to her being handpicked by Microsoft as a Microsoft educator expert and trainer.

    According to the GTP website, Linah did not initially want to be a teacher but pursued a degree in education because it was what her parents could afford to pay for. She, however, grew to love the profession with time and experience.

    Linah told the panel of the GTP that if she secured the top prize, she would set up SHTEAM (Science, Humanities, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) innovation hubs in eight regions, where students would be mentored to convert their ideas into projects that can solve real-world problems.

    She also aspires to create mobile laboratories that would help more schools have practical lessons at least once per week.

    The Global Teacher Prize is a Ksh106 million award presented annually to an exceptional teacher who has made an outstanding contribution to their profession.

    The Global Teacher Prize is awarded by the Varkey Foundation under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE vice president and prime minister of the United Arab Emirates and ruler of Dubai.

    Linah Anyango during a classroom engagement on January 23, 2019.
    Linah Anyango during a classroom engagement on January 23, 2019.
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