Reimagining the future: Teachers Enhancement Programme (TEP)
What was your favorite teacher like? For some, it may bring back memories of the one teacher who got the class gifts, the teacher who always encouraged you to keep going, the ever well-dressed and articulate one, or the one who called you out on your mischief.
Ideally, teachers are fundamental in child and character development. We grow up to either thank them in our adulthood, simply because we now understand why they put so much emphasis on some matters, or live to never want to ever cross paths with them.
This largely depends on what impact they left you with, and for those who have school-going children now, you know why you put so much effort to ensure that your young ones got quality education from well-skilled and experienced teachers.
Where the rubber meets the road
If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea. ~ Antoine de Saint—Exupery
Over the years, the Teachers Enhancement Programme (TEP) under the Strathmore Institute of management and Technology (SI) has sought to look at the big picture; “the endless sea of learning’ in line with SDG 4, quality education – aiming to rekindle in the teachers their noble duty of shaping the minds and lives of students and society. TEP highlights that learning should not be confined exclusively to the cognitive domain, but rather embrace other teaching and learning domains that look into the wellbeing of the students, both physically and emotionally.
To address these, the teaching of values, work ethics, integrity, environmental conservation and effective management of institutional resources make up the core units of the TEP curriculum. TEP aims at making education exciting, achievable and meaningful to all learners and the teachers.
How far we’ve come
Opening the doors to diverse regions, since 2002, the TEP programme has trained more than 5,300 teachers from: Kitui, Bungoma, Nyeri, Kajiado, Murang’a, Machakos, Turkana, Kisii, Taita Taveta, Mombasa, Kilifi, Narok, Kisumu, Kakamega, Makueni, Nairobi, Busia, Homabay, Meru, Nakuru, Kiambu, Tharaka Nithi, and Embu. The programme has also diversified into regions in Uganda.
In 2006, after a call to all who had been trained in the TEP programmes, 30% came back for TEP 2. This gave a clear evidence of the impact of these workshops. The impact varied from improved facilities, to a change in managing human resources and finance, as well as improved academic outcomes.
We now need to think beyond COVID-19 and work to build greater resilience in our education systems, so we can respond quickly and effectively to these and other such crises. This means protecting education financing, investing in high-quality initial teacher education, as well as continuing the professional development of the existing teacher workforce. (Part of the statement from UNESCO, World Teachers Day 2020.)
Copying its own cadence and mirroring its own style, the Teachers Enhancement Programme has once again rejigged the Kenyan pedagogy to adopt technology. In light of this, TEP, in April 2021, offers Foundations of Teaching with Technology, Foundations 2: Intermediate Level from the 19th to the 23rd, Training of Trainers (TOT) from the 26th to the 30th and, Specialized courses: Guidance and Counseling from the 19th to 30th (for both section 1 and 2). In May, TEP will offer two courses for school leaders: successful school leadership and how to run a day school successfully.
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This article was written by Anna Jessica Munya.
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