Four weeks tour of Germany for Kisumu teacher best in German language

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When Ms Edna Obare encountered a call by the German Embassy Nairobi in October 2023 for the 2023 German Teacher of the Year Award competition, she did not hesitate to take the challenge.

“I approached my principal for his approval and nomination, and soon I placed my entry,” said the German language teacher at Kisumu Boys’ High School.

Two months later, Ms Obare was named in the shortlist, putting her in the race for the award.

We are delighted to congratulate Ms Edna Obare and the Kisumu Boys High School on winning the German Teacher of the Year Award for their excellent Language teaching in the Nyanza and South Rift regions. Ms. Obare will have the opportunity to participate in a 4-week German language scholarship in Germany

Embassy of Germany Nairobi

This was followed by a visit to the school by the nomination panel to conduct evaluation on Ms Obare’s content delivery in class.

And on February 7, the good news broke.

“We are delighted to congratulate Ms Edna Obare and the Kisumu Boys High School on winning the German Teacher of the Year Award for their excellent Language teaching in the Nyanza and South Rift regions. Ms Obare will have the opportunity to participate in a 4-week German language scholarship in Germany,” read in part a letter by Christian Friedemann from the German Embassy to the school Chief Principal Mr Austine Muma.

The annual award organized by the German Embassy Nairobi, the Goethe-Institute Nairobi, the Ministry of Education and the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) is meant to celebrate teachers for their innovative contributions to teaching German language.

Ms Edna Obare (second right) being congratulated by Frau Claudia Schilling from Goethe Institute after her win. Looking on, (FROM RIGHT) Charles Mugendi from the Ministry of Educaton, Austine Muma (Kisumu Boys Principal) and Mr Waswa from Goethe Institute. (PHOTO: German Embassy, Nairobi)

A trip to Germany

When Lake Region Bulletin caught up with Ms Obare at her school, she was having her first German language lesson with Form Two students after the recent half term break.

Soon, she will be heading to Germany for four weeks language scholarship to boost her teaching techniques, cultural exchange, and a leisure tour of the expansive European country.

We hope by the time she come back from the tour of German, it will be of great value, especially to the teaching of German language in this school

Austine Muma, Principal Kisumu Boys’ School

This comes after she received an upward movement in her job group by TSC for the excellence performance at the award.

Ms Obare joined the teaching profession 19 years ago after attaining a Bachelor of Arts in German Language.

Her love for languages however began during her time as a primary school pupil.

“I loved English and Kiswahili languages, and I used to perform well in the subjects,” said Ms Obare whose roots trace from Nyansiongo in Kisii County.

When she joined Mary Hill High School in Thika, she encountered German language, and she did not hesitate to take it up.

“My big sister had taken French language in High School, so I wanted something different, and German language came in handy,” she said.

She later joined Kagumo Teachers College to undertake Diploma in Education (German and English languages), before proceeding to undertake Bachelors of Arts in German language.

Before joining Kisumu Boys’ High School where she introduced German language as a subject, she had worked at Oletipis Secondary School and St Mary’s Girls High School in Narok, and Kakamega High School.

“When I joined Kisumu Boys’ School, it sounded strange as no school in the entire Kisumu Central was offering German language, but the principal then, Brother Denis Abok was so supportive, and I successfully introduced the subject,” she said.

Ms Obare during a German language lesson in her office

Sky is the limit for Ms Obare

Since then, Ms Obare has been soaring, recording a mean grade of 8.5 in her first class of Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examination candidates in 2029.

In 2020, her class attained 8.7, followed by 12.0, 10.0 and 9.2 in the 2021, 2022 and 2023 examinations respectively.

“Our aim is to move the mean to 11.9 this year,” said Ms Obare, noting that the school currently have 78 students taking the subject, 11 of them being candidates in this year’s KCSE examinations.

Mr Muma described Ms Obare as a hardworking teacher whose contribution has been felt bot inside ad outside classroom.

“Ms Obare also emerged top in two classes; choral verse and solo verse at the 2023 National Music Festival,” said Mr Muma.

He pledged continued support in the training of foreign languages in the school, saying this is a great boost to the students in the global job market.

He said Ms Obare’s visit to Germany will open doors for exchange programs.

 “We hope by the time she come back from the tour of German, it will be of great value, especially to the teaching of German language in this school,” he said.

Appeal for support

With the growing interest in the subject, Ms Obare notes that limited resources may hamper effective delivery of the German language curriculum.

She said there is need to have a language lab and a German room, as well as opportunities for exchange programs, German language workshops, and German Day as a way of supplementing the curriculum delivery.

I do conduct most of the lessons in my office which is not spacious enough to hold a class, and the space is not enough to display all the teaching aids we have

Ms Obare

The school has been facing shortage of infrastructure, with Mr Muma saying the available classrooms and dormitories cannot effectively support the over 2, 300 students, leading to putting up of makeshift structures to temporarily fill the gap.

“I do conduct most of the lessons in my office which is not spacious enough to hold a class, and the space is not enough to display all the teaching aids we have,” said Ms Obare.

Kevine Omollo
Kevine Omollo
Lake Region Bulletin is your one stop multi-media platform for news from Lake Region Counties of Kisumu, Siaya, Homa Bay, Migori, Kisii, Nyamira, Vihiga, Kakamega, Busia, Bungoma, Trans Nzoia, Nandi, Kericho and Bomet. Email: komollo@lakeregionbulletin.co.ke omollokevine@gmail.com

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