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Nyeri principal bags AU best teacher award

By Lydiah Nyawira | December 23rd 2020

The Othaya Girls School Principal has scooped the African Union Continental Teacher of the Year award 2020.

Jane Kimiti scooped the award for best teacher in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on December 21 and received her certificate of recognition virtually.

“I am very happy with the recognition I have received from the African Union because it highlights my commitment to improve learning, community relations and teacher empowerment,” she said.

Speaking at the institution, Kimiti described the rigorous process she underwent to be selected as the winner.

“Every AU state was to nominate two teachers as representatives, a man and woman, who made their presentation on policy and the best way forward to achieve the African agenda,” she noted.

She became a finalist alongside six teachers from the continent and submitted her final presentation.

Kimiti said for the continent to progress, the teacher must progress, and enable the child to meet their potential and contribute to social and economic development.

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“I am a champion of girls' education because educating a woman is educating the nation."

Othaya Girls Principal Jane Kimiti at the institution. [Lydiah Nyawira/ Standard]

The teacher said she is friendly and focused on a student-centric approach in teaching, where she focuses on the individual child and their potential.

Kimiti also pioneered virtual learning long before the Covid-19 pandemic hit, by using online classes to teach seven schools within a 100km radius of the institution. The classes were accessible at the same time with teachers able to teach at least four classes at once.

“Our teachers would collaborate with their colleagues under the programme we named ‘classes without walls’. This ensured the teachers are able to exchange ideas and students get the best of every teacher,” she said.

When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, Kimiti and her teachers partnered with local chiefs to distribute class notes and homework to learners living around the school.

“Children should not be limited by the teacher or school environment that are learning it. This is my belief and I strive to give each learner an opportunity to reach their full potential,” she stated.

Kimiti was awarded for engaging in quality teaching which results in high standards of student achievement.

She was also recognised for encouraging desirable behaviour among students through positive feedback and other methods.

“I thank my team of teachers, the support from Teacher Service Commission (TSC), who is my employer and the TSC chief executive Dr Nancy Macharia was the first to congratulate me,” she said.

She praised the TSC team for mentoring her on the continental and global education perspectives.

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