Kenyan Teacher Shortlisted for Global Award

  • Dickson Karanja.
    Dickson Karanja.
  • A teacher at Sacred Heart High School, Mombasa County has been shortlisted in the innovation and learning category in the global Bett MEA Awards.

    Dickson Karanja is the only African to make it on the list, an achievement which he claimed to even top by claiming the actual international award.

    “I am a winner having reached this far with my students. If I win I will help other teachers to achieve the same in innovation," Karanja stated.

    Entrance to the Sacred Heart High School, Mombasa County.
    Entrance to the Sacred Heart High School, Mombasa County.

    The Annual Bett MEA Award, to be held in the United Arab Emirates, is meant to appreciate educators who have made significant strides in terms of driving excellence through innovation in education.

    The father of one, noted that when he was posted to the school back in 2008 to teach Geography and Business, he was at first discouraged by the poor performance of the students.

    This prompted Karanja to come up with innovative ways that would enhance learning in the school.

    The teacher, who had never attended any ICT course, admitted that his agenda felt like an uphill task.

    “I went to YouTube and looked for innovative ways to teach and motivate students.

    “In 2016, I was introduced to Microsoft education centre where I got resources on online courses for 21st-century teaching and learning courses. I did my first exam in Microsoft and became a certified educator,” Karanja stated.

    He began incorporating PowerPoint slides, podcasts and video conferencing platforms in his teachings.Furthermore, he would spend Ksh1,000 a week to purchase broadband internet as well as buy lunch for the students to keep them in school during midterms.

    This, he admitted, was expensive at first but Karanja was determined to see his agenda to the end.

    Fortunately, the school principal purchased 10 computer laptops to further Karanja’s agenda. The teacher's efforts were also appreciated by the students, who began embracing the use of technology in their studies.

    Karanja began a digital literacy club where he taught the students digital learning during breaks and in the evenings.

    He attributed his efforts and achievement to the cooperation of the school’s management and the students.

    Students pictured during a lesson.
    Students pictured during a lesson.