Teaching is a noble profession that knows no boundaries, and Blasius Ogolla’s story is a testament to the global reach of educators.
The 33-year-old is a mathematics teacher at Buvalo Secondary School, a public school in Seychelles. He also leads the Luo community in the island country, known as Nyikwa Ramogi.
From the verdant valleys of Magare village in Siaya to a lucrative career abroad, this is his story as told by WoK:
Sitting KCSE four times
Ogallo’s education journey began at Mirando primary School in Siaya, where he sat for his KCPE in 2003. He then proceeded to Mirando Ongalo Secondary school but dropped out a year later for lack of school fees.
He learnt welding and saved enough money to go back to school. In 2007, he sat for his KCSE, emerging second best in his class with a C+. Unfortunately, this grade could not qualify him for a degree course at the time.
Blasius Ogolla went back to his former primary school to work as an untrained P1 teacher. In 2008, he re-sat for KCSE and got a B of 63 points, again missing university by only one point.
In 2010, he tried his luck again in a Kilifi-based school. In an extraordinary stroke of bad luck, the entire school’s KCSE results were nullified over cheating allegations.
In 2011, while teaching as a BOM teacher at Mirando Ongando secondary school, Ogolla sat for KCSE a fourth time and got a B+, which allowed him to join Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University.
There, he pursued a degree in education, specializing in Mathematics and Biology.
Journey to Seychelles
During his fourth year at JOOU, Ogolla applied for teaching opportunities on websites of various countries including Australia, USA, Malawi, Rwanda, and Seychelles.
“I was passionate about teaching in other countries. I wanted to extend my profession and also learn other people’s cultures,” he told Chams Media in an interview.
His hard work paid off and he got several invites to teach in foreign countries. However, he chose Seychelles as it was nearer Kenya.
“My application to Seychelles was accepted within one month. I was then invited for an interview with the country’s ministry of education through Skype. I passed the interview. They told me to report for work within one week,” he said.
According to him, the major question he was asked during the interview was whether he was conversant with the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) and International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculums. IGSE is the major curriculum in Seychelles secondary schools.
Ogolla did not know much about these curriculums, but he did some online research and convinced his recruiters that he was the man for the job.
After the interview, his employers emailed him the plane ticket and work permit. He travelled to Seychelles the same week and found they had already prepared accommodation for him.
He was then taken through a one-week orientation, after which he was assigned his classes. That was in 2017.
“I did not have a godfather, I did everything by myself,” shared the proud father of two.
According to Ogolla, one huge benefit of teaching outside the country is exposure. For him, it is not just about the money, but also the opportunity to network and add an international touch to his CV.
Blasius Ogolla holds a Masters in pure mathematics from Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University, which he studied via online learning
Seychelles’ population is just about 100,000 people. There are only 11 state secondary schools and 25 state primary schools in the country.
At Buvalo Secondary School, the student population is about 600 with a staff of 73 teachers of mixed nationalities.
According to Salary Explorer, a high school teacher in Seychelles earns a monthly salary of between Ksh 52, 347 and Ksh 199, 120.