My students inspire me, says Ademba

Tuesday, October 29th, 2019 10:00 |
Erick Ademba (left) when he arrived at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport after being awarded in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. PD/Phillip Kamakya

 By Viola Kosome

Twelve years ago, Eric Ademba was a volunteer at Sori Secondary School in his Nyatike constituency backyard, Migori county. 

That is where he began his teaching career.

Despite a meagre monthly salary of Sh3,000, he dedicated his time to guiding and teaching students in his quest to make an impact in their lives.

Last week, however, Ademba’s face beamed with joy after bagging the first Africa Union Continental Teachers Award in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. He says he was in school but offline when he was notified of the win through email. 

For the 35-year-old Mathematics and Chemistry teacher, the award was godsend. It came with a Sh1 million prize and a certificate of recognition.

“Finally God has answered my prayers. I dedicated myself despite earning little money but the almighty has done the wonders to me (sic),”  he said.

Each African Union (AU) member country nominated an outstanding male and female teacher to compete for the award. 

“I am thankful to Teachers Service Commission (TSC) for having confidence in me. Out of thousands of teachers I was nominated to represent the country in the competition,” said Ademba.

The top teacher took People Daily through his journey in the teaching profession and his passion to become a teacher, which he says dates back to his childhood.

“When I was young boy I would always assemble my friends then I choose a specific topic to teach them about. I always enjoyed talking and seeing them pay attention,” he said.

Emerge victorious

After completing his high school education in Nyatike Secondary School, Ademba proceeded to Egerton University where he pursued Bachelor of Education.

He would later offer free tutorial classes to students in his village before being employed by TSC.

One of  Ademba’s most memorable moments in his career was in 2016 when one of his students, whom he was coaching in Mathematics, improved from Grade E to attain B- in the national exams.

“As a teacher, I felt great and the girl’s parents could not believe her tremendous performance. I teach with passion and enjoy when my students pass. They are the ones who inspire me by performing well,” he said

At Asumbi Girls where he has taught Chemistry for the past five years, he is a darling to many students. In 2014 and 2017 the subject’s performance was among the best nationally after managing a mean score of 11.32 and 9.62, respectively

He attributes his success to the support he gets from his students and colleagues.

Ademba was confident that he would one day emerge victorious after he became the first runners up in a similar competition in 2018.

The teacher, who is also the organising secretary of the National Chemistry Contest sponsored by Longhorn and the School’s Science head of department, says he intends to reach out to various organisations to help needy students who intend to pursue science courses at a higher level.

Wendy Sonye, Ademba’s former student in 2017 and now a Second Year student at Moi University, described him as a role model who inspired many students to study and love Chemistry. 

“He invented a method where we would do a chemistry rush-hour test for five minutes every Tuesday and Thursday during lunch break which boosted our mean core in 2017 when we were among the top schools nationally in Chemistry,” she said. 

The father of three said he will give 10 per cent of his award back to the community by constructing a classroom.

On Saturday he was received at Kabunde Airstrip in Homa Bay county by his students and his colleagues, who declined to close for the holidays until he returned from Addis Ababa.

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