Rumeet Toor launches a teacher’s college in rural Kenya
During her second year of a BA at U of T Mississauga, Rumeet Toor acquired the company where she worked part time: Jobsineducation.com, an online job site for those in the education field. “I bought it as a for-profit business, but pretty quickly I began to think about what I could create out of it,” says Toor, president of the company. “It began with giving a percentage of our revenue to causes supporting education.”
Today, part of this revenue has gone to one of her biggest projects yet: the Toor Centre for Teacher Education in Kenya, launched in May. The teachers’ college will provide education for 25 to 30 local students each year, as well as employment and leadership opportunities in the Mbooni region. Toor, 27, chose the location to serve rural residents who can’t afford to live and board in cities – where most teachers’ colleges in Kenya are located.
Initially conceived as a five-year plan, the Toor Centre was established in six months, after the local community donated a building. Toor collaborated with David Y. Kim (MEd 2010 OISE) and others on the curriculum.
After earning her degree in sociology and industrial relations in 2006, Toor worked on projects with the humanitarian group Free the Children. She travelled with the organization to Kenya and Ecuador, where she helped build schools and conducted research with members of the indigenous communities. During this time, Toor was also working on a master of education at OISE – and this June, she started the Community College Leadership PhD Program at U of T.
“Education helps to shape who we are. Every type of learning – in class or out, even conversations – affects who we are. There’s so much value in it,” says Toor, who also has a certificate in strategic leadership from the School of Continuing Studies. “This is what I love to do. My work is my life.”