by Joseph Karanja
2018 knocked at our doors heavy laden with a perfect opportunity for a fresh perspective in SBM. On 3rd January the school officially opened and the teaching staff had busy schedules re-organising new classes and purging any resources that they didn’t need. The entire January too saw a review of many of our routines and activities we have in place lest they become dull and redundant to students so this is prime time to shake things up and try something different.
The school excelled in the national examinations last year being position three out of seventy-seven schools in the sub-county, therefore, setting goals has become a traditional part of the new year. This takes centre stage for us since we need to expose our students to a plethora of opportunities in order to turn around their lives. The teaching staff brain stormed ways of improving our academic standing and lifting our school from strength to strength. Key among our resolutions was our belief that it is always a good idea to reflect and improve, especially when it comes to how we engage with our students.
We have began calling out the positives we see around class 8 candidates for 2018 and lifting each other up. We have articulated our values and shared with the policy makers and the community around the important progressive work we are doing in the classrooms and the school at large every single day. Humility does not serve without a voice, and as such, we have taken giant baby steps to ensure that the school remains a beacon of light and hope to many students who sometimes struggle but have got so much to offer the world. We continue to challenge and educate but most of all we care about our candidates who face a myriad of insurmountable challenges in life.
The Education department has been fully briefed about our school’s mission and we are seeing a more supportive environment for our students who have done KCPE in order to proceed to high school. This support has motivated our candidates more and shaped their future perspectives more. It is my hope that the transformative journey here at SBM has just began and we shall see more successes in the future.
With the introduction of a new curriculum by the government, we had many changes to embrace too here at SBM. We had to let go Kindergarten 3 as the former three classes were merged into two pre-primary classes. Currently, we have PP1 and a double class at PP2 (PP2 GREEN AND PP2 BLUE). The new curriculum aimed at facing out the 8-4-4 system is more robust and holistic in nature where learner assessment will not be based on summative evaluation only but rather will involve skills and competencies that the students have mastered at each level. Though the 6-3-3-3 system sounds like a bed of roses, the hurry in which the government introduced it has left a sour taste in school managements. The requisite teaching and learning resources as well as teaching staff training is yet to be fully realised, however, our commitment to excellence is undeterred and we shall always seek ways of improving day by day.
In our quest to re-energise our classrooms, motivate team work and improve communication, the school will host the annual cultural day towards the end of the term. This is an opportunity for the students and teachers to spend more time together and feel more comfortable exploring new strategies and practices that are tailored to make them love the school, theatre and performing arts. It is also a wonderful time to appreciate our unity in diversity as a community. Students engage in cultural dances and songs aimed at fostering the national goals of education in Kenya.
It is indeed my hope that we shall have a successful year ahead. I strive to cultivate a mindset of professionalism and the believe that each member of staff is an agent of change beyond the classrooms. We must start to see ourselves as the builders of society and only then will the others follow and now that we are here at SBM now is the time to be agents of change. This is our mantra for 2018