Think About This Before Teaching in Hard Places
Choosing to teach in Kenya’s remote and difficult locations is a noble commitment that can have a tremendous impact on both pupils and communities. However, due to the specific issues involved, this option deserves careful consideration.
The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) understands the necessity of assisting educators in these tough circumstances, and prospective teachers should carefully examine a number of issues before accepting such a post.
1. Understanding the Nature of Difficulty Areas
Prospective instructors must have a thorough awareness of what constitutes a hardship area in Kenya. These areas are commonly distinguished by limited access to basic amenities, rugged terrain, and distant locations. Notably, counties such as Mandera, Wajir, and Garissa frequently suffer security concerns, underscoring the distinct challenges they provide.
2. Individual and Professional Readiness
Teachers should measure their adaptation and resilience in dealing with these contexts’ demanding challenges. Furthermore, they must assess their qualifications and preparedness for such responsibilities, ensuring that they can effectively satisfy the educational needs of their students.
3. Considerations for Safety and Security
Safety comes first. Teachers should make a thorough assessment of the security situation in the hardship region, including the security mechanisms in place to protect citizens. This includes assessing security levels in schools and the larger community.
4. Personal Life Impact
Teachers must think about how their placement may effect their personal life, such as family, social activities, and personal well-being. It is critical to have open conversations with loved ones in order to align expectations and support systems.
5. Financial Considerations
While teachers in low-income areas are eligible for hardship allowances, they should still consider if the financial compensation matches their requirements and financial goals. Additionally, teachers should account for any additional costs that may occur as a result of the remote location.
6. Basic Services Access
It is critical for daily life to assess the availability of key services such as healthcare, clean water, and power. Teachers should consider if they are comfortable living in a setting with restricted access to these amenities and how this may effect their everyday lives.
7. Professional Development
Teachers should inquire about professional development and support opportunities in the difficulty area. Examine whether there are resources and initiatives in place to assist teachers in improving their abilities and advancing in their professions.
8. Union and TSC Support
Attempts to raise issues with education and security stakeholders have occasionally resulted in threats and disregard of concerns. Teachers’ difficulties have been exacerbated by stakeholders’ lack of support and understanding.
9. Long-Term Dedication
Prospective teachers should think about their level of dedication. Working in difficult locations often necessitates a longer commitment due to the particular obstacles involved. Teachers should consider if they are ready for a multi-year assignment.
10. Participation in the Community
Consider the possibility for community engagement and the positive impact teachers may have on the lives of children and citizens in need. Making a difference can provide a strong sense of purpose, which can be a powerful motivator.
11. Transportation Difficulties
Teachers in Kenya’s northeastern region have emphasized the dangers posed by suspected Alshabaab’s use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) on highways. Since June, these IEDs have not only killed many police officers but also hindered transit in the area. This transportation interruption has exacerbated the problems that non-local teachers confront in getting to work.
Working as a teacher in Kenya’s impoverished districts is a noble choice, but it must be undertaken with careful consideration of the aforementioned concerns. Teachers can make an informed choice that benefits not only their careers but also contributes to the improvement of education in these challenging environments by taking the time to assess personal readiness, understand the unique challenges, and evaluate the impact on one’s personal and professional lives.
Finally, the decision to work in a difficult location demonstrates a teacher’s commitment to making a good influence in the lives of children and communities.