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Mary Wambugu

County Manager, I Choose Life – Africa

Bold Question: What if teachers were adequately` equipped and empowered through coaching, mentorship, and training to supportlearners with diverse learning needs?

Path to Metis: Mary envisions public schools having teachers with appropriate and adequate training on Individualized Education Programme (IEP) strategies to manage learning needs of all learners. Mary’s experience while in lower primary school laid a base for her passion in teacher training. She remembers struggling with Mathematics and the teacher instead of supporting her ridiculed her by one day appointing her to write the word ’circumference’ on the chalkboard. When she wrote it correctly, the teacher gave her a beating and sent her home accusing her of putting more effort in English than Mathematics.

Mary is a trained teacher with vast experience in quality Teacher Professional Development having transitioned from her teaching job in 2014 to pursue her passion by joining work in the development sector targeting education interventions with Voluntary Services Oversees (VSO) in Rwanda where she embarked in empowering teachers on learner centred pedagogy, inclusive education and system strengthening to improve learning outcomes and hybrid learning. It is in Rwanda that her passion for inclusive education heightened after identifying a gap in this area.

Just like her Mathematics teacher back in primary school, Mary realized that most of the teachers she observed focused on the so labled fast learners leaving behind the learners who needed extra support. Such learners transitioned through the grades leaving primary school hardly able to read or write.Mary worked closely with the Rwanda Education Board to produce audio – visual learning resources targeting needs of all learners especially in foundational Literacy and Numeracy in public primary schools in Rwanda. Her interventions included training and coaching in-service and pre-service teachers with support from the Building Learning Foundations Project (BLF).

She later returned to Kenya in 2019 and joined I Choose Life - Africa to manage the implementation of the GEC-T project in Mombasa County targeting marginalized learners especially girls to stay in school and transition through education pathways.

Mary has a B.Ed. in English/Literature and an M.A in Linguistics from the University of Nairobi. She hopes to finalize on her dream of advancing Teacher Professional Development through a professional body that will offer TPD in liaison with school administrations leveraging on professional teacher fora such as COPs (Communities of Practice), Professional Learning Committees (PLC), and Quality Circles.

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Mary Wambugu
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