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Teachers urged to form professional body for mentorship

The Global Peace Foundation Kenya country Director Mr. Daniel Juma Omondi has encouraged Kenyan teachers to form a professional body modelled along the Law Society of Kenya to encourage self regulation and safeguard the image of the teaching profession.

Giving a keynote address at the graduation ceremony of the 1 Million Teachers blackbelt programme on 10th December 2022 at Sahara West Park Hotel in Ruaka Nairobi Kenya, Mr. Omondi called on teachers to maintain the dignity of the profession by ensuring that schools remain safe spaces for children.

More than 90 teachers participated in the 1 Million Teachers blackbelt graduation ceremony in the programme that was established to increase access to quality training and professional development for teachers by, attracting new teachers to the teaching profession, providing training to untrained teachers who are active in the classroom, but unable to access international standard training due to financial or geographic barriers or other constraints, and providing ongoing professional development to teachers who are active in the classroom, thus encouraging continuous and lifelong learning and development.

Founded by Mr. Hakeem Subair in Canada, the 1Million Techers Training Scheme focuses on the most under-resourced communities across the world, 1Million Teachers (1MT) empowers teachers to enhance learning outcomes for students through various reward-based teachers’ professional development programmes.

Other speakers at the graduation ceremony that saw more than 90 teachers from Kenya and Rwanda awarded with certificates included former Minister for ICT in the County Government of Kisumu Mr. Michael Onyango who is also the founder of The 4gotten Bottomillions (4BM) , the Kenya Program Cordinator for Girl Rising Ms. Debborah Odenyi and the Headteacher of Braeside School Ms. Gladys Wahinya.

The 1MT e-learning portal enables teachers to access, quality professional development modules and be part of a learning community that allows them to connect with other teachers participating in the program to share knowledge and experiences. The Blackbelt Program, which is the signature program is self-paced, and flexible, and designed to meet the diverse needs of the participating teachers. It provides intensive and ongoing support and additional pathways and opportunities to the most promising educators to take on various educational leadership roles.

1MT currently facilitates the professional development of teachers in Nigeria, and 16 other African countries, and Pakistan. In 2018, we formalized our partnership with Canada’s Queen’s University’s Faculty of Education to leverage the university’s teacher education expertise and to help develop 1MT’s program framework and content. The partnership with 1MT is one of the university’s international commitments to social justice and helps create a community of professional practice that improves teaching and learning where 1MT works.  In 2019, 1MT signed a partnership with the Rwandan Education Board to train 10,000 teachers. In 2021, 1MT became an implementing partner in the Global Partnership for Education\UNICEF\Federal Ministry of Education Continuing Education Through Alternate Home and Community-based Platform’s initiative, where it trained 4,058 teachers and School Based Management Committee Members as well as 185,000 students through 561 community-based learning hubs in Sokoto, Zamfara, and Kebbi State.

Recently 1MT began a collaboration with technology giant – HP, and international NGO – Girl Rising, aimed at bringing inclusive content and curriculum to classrooms and educators in Nigeria and beyond.  This collaboration includes a joint “Mentor-a-Teacher” program that matches senior HP employees (mentors) with teachers participating in 1MT’s Black Belt program (mentees). Anchored on 4 pillars, including gender equity, digital inclusion (one of the ways in which HP is accelerating digital equity for 150 million people by 2030), leadership development and success mindset.

According to the Founder and CEO of 1 million Teachers Mr. Hakeem Subair, the impact of a truly empowered teacher goes far beyond what can be measured with numbers. Subair says teachers as role
models and community leaders have the power to create change that lasts for generations. “1Million
Teachers is the international programming partner for the development of empowered teachers, we go beyond training to also create pathways to job satisfaction and consistent income in order to achieve sustainability.” He says.

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