Enos Kiforo, MEd' 2008

Enos Kiforo’s association with the Institute for Educational Development, East Africa began in 2007 when he was admitted to the Master of Education programme. At that time Enos was a high school teacher in one of the top public schools in the coastal town of Mombasa, Kenya. Enos had realized a change was needed – a change which his association with IED would help bring about.

For 10 years, Enos Kiforo had taught at a top public school in Mombasa but he was dissatisfied. He had realized that he wished to do something new and exciting – he wanted to be a student once again. After much deliberation, in 2007 he enrolled in the master’s programme at the Institute for Educational Development (IED), East Africa.

Academic life at IED was rigorous but manageable. It was not long before a redefining of Enos’ definition of education took place and he realized that teaching was a lot more than just going to class as he had once believed.  “The collaborative discussions that were held on a regular basis made me realise that each new lecture carried its own portion of newness and freshness about teaching,” says Enos about his experiences.

Not only did Enos’ understanding of teaching change but the year and half at IED gave him a perspective of the importance of cooperative learning, collaborative teaching, reflective practice and pedagogical leadership. “When I finally graduated in the summer of 2008, I had a completely new world view about teaching. At that point, I hoped to bring about the change in my profession that I had been made to believe was possible,” he adds.

Now a Professional Development Teacher (PDT), his first step was to make changes in his own school. He wished to make the shift from the traditional teacher- centred pedagogy to student – centred learning. “My students at first were apprehensive. They were not used to cooperative learning. They were too used to being told what to do rather than being asked what could be done,” he recalls.

Before making his colleagues question the rationale behind the new kind of teaching, he gradually began making changes in his own classes. Seeing the results, his colleagues found that the ‘new way’ was popular with young learners. This paved the way for his first professional development session on cooperative learning at his school. And to make it a real simulation of his courses, he used typical cooperative learning techniques such as jigsaw puzzles, gallery walk and graffiti.

Building on the hype he had managed to create, Enos managed to convince his colleagues to visit IED for their annual teachers’ retreat. The results of his labour were evident in just one year: in 2009, 15 teachers from his school applied for the Master of Education degree programme at IED.

Meanwhile, Enos was to hold another four workshops in his own school before being transferred to a neighbouring​ school. According to him though his greatest achievement was the implementation of his information and Communication Technology (ICT) action plan, which he had drawn up as part of his assignment in one of the ICT classes at IED.”Both the teachers and learners increasingly use modern technology in the instruction and learning process respectively,” he says “ICT was no longer viewed as a discreet subject, but instead as a tool to aid teaching.”

In fact, Enos would go on to implement his knowledge and ICT skills beyond the boundaries of his school. Enos was chosen District ICT Champion in the district reporting to the District Educational Officer, Enos has successfully helped implement ICT integration in six schools within the changamwe district. His role includes advising schools on what ICTs to buy, checking that the equipment bought is within the government’s specifications and training teachers in these schools on how to successfully integrate ICTs and monitor implementation. He also evaluates ICT usage in the participating schools. Up to now, a total of 220 teachers and 5,200 students have benefited directly from Enos ‘efforts.

On the side, Enos has continued to make a difference. In 2008, Enos helped establish a professional body called the Learning Teachers Company (LTC) in collaboration with three other colleagues from his MEd course. “In one of our sessions, we had asked ourselves: ‘What next after IED? How do we remain relevant?’ The LTC was an answer to these questions,” he explains.

Interestingly, LTC transcends borders to feature like-minded IED alumni from both the Karachi and Dar es Salaam campuses. Enos was its first chairperson. So far, LTC has actively been involved in research on educational matters such as school improvement, use of ICT in teaching and learning, teacher-peer mentorship and authentic communication. It has also mentored teachers on individual levels through class observation and post-observation conferences.

Despite the passage of half a decade since his graduation, Enos’ association with IED, EA continues. In 2011, in an IED, EA-sponsored Certificate in Education programme, Eons was the coordinator for the English language component for secondary school teachers in Mombasa.

Currently, he is a coordinator on another IED, EA sponsored project, Information and Communication Technology for Enhanced Pedagogy that targets teachers in Mombasa.

Eons plans to reach out to as many teachers as a possible though his trainings and sessions. He attributes all his success to IED. “Had I not gotten a chance to take part in the Master’s programme, I would not be able to do the kind of things that I have done so far,” he says conclusively.