Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Teacher Nurture

In our partnership with New Dawn secondary school, Saba, International has come to recognize that the success of the school and its students depends largely on the teachers. Saba, International has implemented a program that we refer to as teacher nurture. The goal of this program is to support the teaching staff in a variety of ways, to nurture and encourage them as they daily commit to the hard work of teaching. So far, we have been able to help one teacher with the cost of his Bachelor's Degree, and have boosted teacher salaries with a "13th month" salary (which is like a Christmas Bonus). We would like to do more!

Shown above are four teachers which have been with New Dawn since 2006, its opening year. Thank you for your many years of dedicated, excellent service and leadership!

Meet Margaret Chao Kubo. She joined the New Dawn staff in 2006, shortly after the school opened. She has taught all four classes of students in the subjects of Kiswahili, history and religion. Currently she also functions as a student counselor and school secretary. In the picture above, Madame Chao was helping prepare the feast which followed last year's graduation.
In September, Ms. Kubo reported to me the blessing of having received a small stipend through teacher nurture. She wrote, "I want to thank Saba, International for their initiative of coming up with "teacher nurture". It has made a great impact in my life, especially during the August holidays when both my daughter and I were at home, meaning food consumption is high. The amount of money I usually allocate for my shopping from my salary is usually not enough to sustain us for the whole month. From the gift of "teacher nurture" this month's shopping has sustained us comfortably."

Ms. Kubo is an excellent example of on-going learning for the students. In 1998 she completed her O-level training, and in 2001 she took coursework for computer proficiency. She laments that she does not have more training to support her teaching, but recently, to the Praise of God's glorious grace, she has been able to return to school to achieve a diploma in Library and Information Science. She does the coursework during her three month-long term breaks, and should complete the degree by April of 2012. The total cost of the course-work is $2000. Eventually she would like to receive master's level training in the same field of study.

All of New Dawn's eleven teachers are Kenyans, striving to be positive examples as Christian leaders and educators as they respond to God's calling. They are highly devoted, but endure many hardships. Currently their wages are less than half of the national average for secondary teachers, and in the early years of the school, they often went months without receiving wages. (Many struggle to keep their own families fed and their children's school fees paid.) Very few of the teachers have the proper training to support their teaching demands, and they all desire to further their own education. The environment in the village can be very disturbing, and they are teaching students whose own home environments are not supportive of good learning. All of this makes teaching at New Dawn a daily challenge, but one that comes with great rewards too. Ms. Kubo wrote that being in the village environment, and seeing what her students endure daily has taught her greater patience, perseverance, humility and love.
Saba, International encourages you to pray for the teachers of New Dawn, that they might continue to be a blessing to the school, and be blessed by Jesus for fighting the good fight, finishing the race and keeping the faith. (2 Timothy 4:7)
The apostle Paul writes to Timothy: I solemnly urge you: proclaim the message; be persistant, whether the time is favorable or unfavorable; convince, rebuke, and encourage, with the utmost patience in teaching....As for you, always be sober, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, carry out your ministry fully.
2 Timothy 4:2-5
posted by Cathy Woller