Who is Prof Humphrey Oborah?
Humphrey has a great passion for education. I am more than just a teacher. I am currently the president of the African Federation for Gifted and Talented Centre for Academic Referrals, Testing and Management and Founder of the Digital Advisory & Learning Centre (Dalc).
How was your childhood and where did you grow up?
I was born along the shores of Lake Victoria 42 years ago, to peasant farmers who could only manage one meal a day. My father had to go fishing in Lake Victoria while my mother, my siblings and I, would tend to the farms.
Which schools did you attend?
I attended Odienya Primary School in Kisumu Rural where we sat on the floor during our studies. We used to go to school barefooted. I wore my first pair of shoes when I joined high school. I went to Matinyani High School (Kitui) for my O-levels and thereafter Dagoretti High School for A-levels.
I then joined University of Nairobi for a Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics, Computer Science and Meteorology. I also have a Masters Degrees in Computing (Information Systems) and Curriculum Development and a PhD in Electronic Curriculum with a bias in Gift and Talent Testing from the St Johns Institute in the United Kingdom.
What inspired you to start the Digital Advisory & Learning Centre (Dalc)?
In t2001, I was sitting alone in Russell Square in the United Kingdom, and wondered what I would take back home. Being a teacher, I thought of books, gift pens and other academic items before realising that these would only benefit a few people. It is then that I decided of starting something unique — a college, a school, and education system that is different and would give the people the true meaning of education; gaining knowledge and skills to start something new and improve on what existed.
So what makes Dalc different?
Dalc is the implementation platform for the new education paradigm in Africa. We undertake gift and talent testing while also recognising work experience and qualifications during admission process. Our teaching methodology is a learner-led process using the 60-30-30 Teaching Delivery Model that engages the participants not only to have greater mental recall, but also to be investigative and research-oriented.
Do you think Dalc has a future in Kenya?
With the recent launch of the Dalc TV and radio, coupled with research and publications, the institution is set for a new unmatched agenda in Africa, and will obviously be unrivalled as it provides unique learning experiences.
You also have an education trust; tell us about it…
I began the Prof Humphrey Oborah Education Trust in 2006 to assist the many needy youth who could not afford school fees. I was touched by the plight of talented youth who wanted to join Dalc, but could not afford. I decided to dedicate 50 per cent of my salary to fund their education.
What was the greatest turning point in your life?
One day after returning from the UK, my daughter Tracy, who was in Class Three then, was playing with my laptop. As she hit the buttons, I noticed she was doing factorisation, a common topic in Math that is done in high school. This was when I discovered that her intellectual capacity was far greater, especially for a Class Three pupil. From Class Three, she went straight to Form One. It may sound unreal, but this is a true story.
At 16, she had completed one degree and next year, she will be completing her second degree at the University of Eastern Africa, Baraton. This gave me the resolve to continue advocating for gift and talent testing so that parents can realise their children’s potential.
What do you do in your free time?
I love travelling and listening to any form of music. I am also very close to young people and whenever I can, I interact and speak to my students, advising them on various aspects of life.
What would be your advice to parents?
Any person who continues to take their child to school without knowing their talent or gift is not different from those investing in businesses they know nothing about. Those who teach children without knowing their talent are not different from doctors who provide injections without any medical assessment.