World Teachers’ Day celebrated in Nairobi
It is 8.35 am, a sunny Tuesday morning. No sign of life at Jevanjee Gardens, Moi Avenue. Half an hour later, the Starehe Boys Band arrives in their attractive uniform and glittering instruments, and the eyes of the teachers who had been assembling hesitatingly, now shine. People then proceed to the main entrance of the Garden where white T-shirts with inscriptions and caps are being distributed. Within a few minutes, the white crowd starts moving onto the streets of Nairobi, led by the band. The procession walks up to Jamhuri High School to attend the festivities for their day, the World Teachers’ Day.
World Teachers Day has been celebrated since 1994. About half of the world celebrates teachers every year on the 5th of October. Each year the focus is shifted to a theme wherein teachers play an important role. This year’s main focal point was: “recovery begins with teachers”. Or in the words of the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) Secretary General Mr Kanyamba: “We don’t practice, we offer a service”. Apart from valuable speech contributions where teachers clapped and cheered to back up what was mentioned, festivities coloured the late morning.
From drama by winning school, Westlands Primary, to a song from Huruma Girls’ High school, to the teachers’ choir and to a poem from our Schoollink school, Our Lady Of Fatima. Next to the representation of VVOB’s School Link Programme, also the Healthy Learning was introduced. Assistant Minister of Education Hon. Prof. Ayiecho Olweny and UNESCO country director, Prof. Joseph Massaquoi formally planted indigenous trees at Jamhuri High School. The tree seedlings were carefully singled out by VVOB and on top of that a good label was provided for each tree.
Schools Ring the Bell!!
Meanwhile in other schools, the ‘Saved by the bell’ initiative marked the World Teachers’ Day celebration. Some schools rang the bell loudly, some went round the school environment ringing the bell and celebrating.
The “Saved by the Bell” is an initiative that symbolizes World Teacher’s day by a massive ringing of school bells in Flemish schools. Saved by the Bell has been running in Flanders for several years, and for the first time, this initiative was marked in Kenya.
It is all Joy at Kathiani Primary School as teachers are joined by their pupils to mark the World Teachers Day, for the first time in the region since 1994. The school bell ringer, Boniface Mutua, rings the bell loudly while his assistant
waves a placard stating that the bell is being rang. A pupil splashes water to symbolize that water is a sign of life in teaching and learning.
To mark the festivities, pupils assemble and announce why they come to school, urging their fellow boys and girls to come to school. Curious neighbours and passer-bys had gathered round the school fence, watching in amazement.
In Naro Moru Primary School, pupils write essays stating why they like coming to school. Phoebe, a class seven pupil says “Going to school and learning new ideas has been my best experience”. Washira, another pupil in the school states that “Students should know and keep in mind that their destiny lies in their hands and hard work pays and never goes unrewarded”.