Teachers Service Commission has hailed Othaya Girls’ Secondary School Chief Principal Jane Kimiti who was crowned the 2020 winner of the coveted Africa Union Teacher Prize. Ms Jane Kimiti’s victory comes barely a year after another Kenyan teacher, Mr Erick Ademba of Asumbi Girls, won the inaugural 2019 prize.
Ms Kimiti was first declared as the Principal Of the year Award (POYA) winner for 2019 in Mombasa by Teachers Service Commission (TSC). TSC Chief Executive Officer Dr Nancy Macharia termed Ms Kimiti as an accomplished professional with a proven track record both as quality teacher and administrator for many years.
“Ms Kimiti has done all of us in the teaching profession proud and shown that the ongoing Teacher Performance Appraisal and Development (TPAD) programme is bearing fruit,” she said in her congratulatory message to the Nyeri County based administrator.
Though an administrator, Ms Kimiti is also a classroom teacher of Christian Religious Education whose subject recorded a performance mean of 8.309 in 2019. The maximum average for any candidate class is 12.0.
The overall school mean score has also gradually improved since she joined Othaya Girls from a mean of 6.3 to 6.9. Ms Kimiti has been at the school for four years.
“The overall improvement in the school is as a result of adherence to performance management in TPAD where she carries out lesson observations and is also observed by her own teachers and Sub county directors,” Dr Macharia said.
The African Union launched the AU Continental Teacher Award in 2019 with single objective of encouraging teachers in Africa to adopt quality education practices. The competition attracts participants from all the AU member states.
In January, 2020, the Commission nominated Ms Kimiti for the prestigious AU Continental Teacher Award when AU requested for nominations.
The Commission prepared the nominee for the stiff competition through briefs on global and regional agenda on education captured in SDG 4, AU agenda 2063, and Continental Education Strategy in Africa (CESA) 2016-2025.
Nominees were required to submit a record of their personal teaching philosophy and achievement since joining the teaching profession.
As part of the process, Ms Kimiti made several virtual presentations on her philosophy on teaching. She also participated in virtual interviews that were conducted by a panel of eminent educationists in Africa on 21st December 2020 after which she emerged the winner beating 50 other competitors.
The AU captured her strongest contribution in education including:
- Engaging in quality teaching
- Encouraging desirable behaviour among learners
- Engaging in community outreach programmes that support learning IV. Inspiring learners to work hard to be functional members in their society.
Dr Macharia said the Commission was impressed to note that the five TPAD Standards were key factors in the success of Ms Kimiti. These are:
- Professional Knowledge and Practice
- Comprehensive learning Environment
- Teacher Professional Development
- Teacher Conduct and professionalism
- Participation in professional Learning Community (PLC) particularly target no 4 on establishing linkages with communities.
Last year’s price was won by another Kenyan Mr Erick Ademba, a mathematics and chemistry teacher at Asumbi Girls.
He was also the 1st runners up of the Teacher of the Year (TOYA ) awards in Kenya in 2018. The African member states of African Union were required to nominate two outstanding teachers (Male and Female) and submit their names to AU in Addis Ababa.
Dr Macharia said the win was a confirmation that Kenya was the home of best teachers. “Given that our own Peter Tabichi emerged the best global teacher in 2019, we are proud of the high caliber of staff that are in our schools,” she said.
Dr Macharia said the TSC will continue doing all in its powers to maintain high professional standards among teachers.