There was fanfare yesterday as winners in a competition for excellence in schools were paraded at the end of the principals’ conference in Mombasa.
Women scooped two of three coveted prizes at the secondary school heads association conference that came to an end yesterday in the resort city of Mombasa. The winners competed in the Principal of the Year (Poya), Teacher of the Year (Toya) and Information and Communication Technology Teacher of the Year (iToya) categories where 24 teachers were in contention.
Jane Waceke from Stellamaris Othaya Girls Secondary School was named the Principal of the Year. Waceke, a teacher of 25 years, beat eight competitors in the duel witnessed by Education Principal Secretary Belio Kipsang.
Fredrick Shitubi from St Mary’s Yala High School was named Teacher of the Year after beating a field of eight competitors while Catherine Wanjiku of Kerugoya Girls was named the ICT Teacher of the Year, beating seven other contenders.
Waceke, a graduate of Moi University and University of Nairobi said she would use the Sh100,000 cash prize to pay school fees for needy students in her school.
She attributed her victory to determination, hard work and being child-friendly as well as support from teachers and school sponsor, the Catholic church.
“I entered the competition expecting to win or lose but I was determined to stay on to the very end. This is a win for my school. I am looking forward to meeting my daughters (students) on Sunday to continue with the celebration,” said the mother of three.
Mary Kemboi of Kapsabet Girls and Emelda Oyumbe from Cardinal Otunga Girls came second and third respectively.
On his part, Shitubi, 44, attributed his win to God and teamwork and said he will use the money to buy uniform for his praise and worship team at the school.
“I banked on my 20-year experience and gave this competition my best because my competitors were equally tough,” said the father of three.
The Kenyatta University trained English and Literature teacher said cooperation with the school head, teachers, parents and family provided the winning formula.
“I put trust in God and focused on the competition. My wife Norich Munyasia contributed a great deal towards my victory because she encouraged me,” he said.
Grace Mabuti from Dr Aggrey High School at the Coast was runners-up while Felex Kipkemboi of Jemova Secondary School in Western came third in the Toya category. Wanjiku, 30, who was named the ICT teacher of the year said since she was employed as a teacher at Kerugoya Girls in 2012 her passion for ICT has been growing and has helped teachers and students to learn new, relevant computer skills.
The Kiswahili and Christian Religious Education teacher said ICT can be used to teach all subjects in schools and welcomed the introduction of the Competency Based Curriculum (CBC). “My victory has come has a surprise because the competition was tough. God has given us the best results and I am will continue to support my school in ICT,” said the mother of one.
Amos Ogada of Moi Vokoli in Western and Samuel Mwangi from Moi Forces Nairobi came second and third in the category.
Head of the selection panel and director of quality assurance at the Teachers Service Commission Reuben Nthamburi said one contestant in this category was dropped for failing to meet the requirements.
Dr Nthamburi said selection of winners started from the school level and called on those involved to vet participants for integrity issues. The three winners got Sh100,000 cash award each to cap their victories. The extravaganza capped the week-long principals’ annual conference held at the Kenya School of Revenue Administration grounds that brought together 8,000 delegates.
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