In a joyous celebration of dedication and transformation, over 140 teachers marked a milestone in their professional journey at the 1 Million Teachers Kenya Graduation. Held at Braeside School in Lavington, Nairobi, the event featured educators from various counties, including representatives from the diaspora of Rwanda, Ethiopia, Tanzania, and the United States who joined virtually. This year’s ceremony also acknowledged the achievements of 30 deserving Blackbelt graduates from the 2022 class.
The 1 Million Teachers program has been instrumental in changing the lives of educators across Sub-Saharan Africa, with Kenya and Rwanda at the forefront. The graduation marked an occasion of immense personal growth and societal impact, evident in the bright smiles and energized spirits exhibited by the graduands throughout the ceremony.
During the event, speakers like Chrispine Oyoo and Judith Mukami shared their experiences and thoughts on the program. Ms. Mukami highlighted their work in empowering underprivileged children and the impactful Muhammad Sanusi II SDG Challenge award, which originated from the 1 Million Teachers program. Graduates were encouraged to explore various growth opportunities, including research and publication.
The ceremony also showcased the underlying mission of the 1 Million Teachers (1MT) curriculum to address global educational challenges, fostering responsibility and a deeper understanding of the teaching profession. Presentations emphasized the pursuit of dreams and the vital role of inclusive, value-based education in transforming society.
Harriet Sejero, the 1MT Coordinator, welcomed the graduands, acknowledging the significance of their journey towards becoming 1MT Blackbelts. Gladys Wahinya, headteacher of Braeside Primary Section, passionately shared how she discovered the program and integrated it into her school’s professional development, becoming one of 1MT’s outstanding ambassadors. Braeside School’s exceptional commitment to the program led to its selection as the ceremony’s location and an anchor school.
Daniel Juma, Executive Director of the Global Peace Foundation Kenya, emphasized the importance of continuous learning and professional development for teachers in the 21st century. He highlighted the significant role educators play in transforming societies and stressed the need to adapt to a changing world through enhancing pedagogical skills and fostering collaborative learning.
Deborrah Odenyi, the Girl Rising Course country manager, spoke about the course’s advocacy for gender equality, expanding its reach to support both girls and boys. Beryl Oywer, the Country Manager for NABU, introduced the NABU app, which provides accessible storybooks for children, fostering a reading culture in schools.
The graduation ceremony culminated in the awarding of certificates to the graduands, symbolizing their hard work, sacrifice, dedication, and transformation as educators. The event was filled with music from Jacklyne Beauttah, a talented music teacher at Braeside School, whose captivating voice entertained and soothed attendees alike.
This graduation ceremony testified to the power of dedication and perseverance, highlighting how teachers can achieve their goals and make an enduring impact on the world. Education, as demonstrated by the 1 Million Teachers program, has the capacity to shape not only individuals but also the entire global community. With cherished memories and meaningful activities, this event inspires hopes of creating a better world, one story, one child, one teacher, and one heart at a time.