Kenyan ‘YouTube’ teacher only African shortlisted for global prestigious award

Dickson Mbugua
Dickson Mbugua. [Photo: Courtesy]

A Kenyan teacher who taught himself digital literacy via YouTube has been nominated for the world’s prestigious awards Bett MEA.

The teacher, Dickson Karanja who has been working at the Sacred Heart High School in Mombasa was the only African shortlisted for the awards in the innovation in teaching and learning category.

He is expected to battle it out with three others who have been shortlisted for the same award.

His passion for technological innovation started after his transfer to the institution in 2008 from, St Theresa Girl’s Secondary School in Kilifi.

Karanja says he was saddened by the state of the school’s performance and he realized that he could better its performance by embracing technology which he went on to teach himself at his own cost.

“When I came here, I was discouraged and worried because of poor performance. I had to improvise and spice up my teaching to ensure my students participate in class and learn. I went to YouTube and looked for innovating ways to teach and motivate students and I stumbled upon the use of technology,” he was quoted by Daily Nation.

For the last five years, he got tips such as the use of projectors to teach other than writing on the black board. He got a laptop in 2015 and started using Ms Powerpoint presentations as a model to teach his students.

They began getting interested and their grasp in his subjects improved but it was expensive for him because he had to use Ksh1,000 every week to purchase internet bundles to plan his lesson.

In 2016, he became a certified educator after successfully taking a Microsoft exam.

Now, Karanja a father of one says that he is optimistic of taking the win back home in the Bett MEA awards while will be held in UAE on December 10.

“I am a winner having reached this far with my students. If I win I will help other teachers to achieve the same in innovation,” Karanja stated.