Tabitha Nduku Kilonzo is a senior education specialist with over 10 years of experience working in RTI’s International Development Group. Her work is focused on pre-school and early primary school education efforts, including teacher professional development, early learning material development, early grade assessment, stakeholder liaison, and government relations. While working with RTI, Ms. Tabitha Nduku has developed a keen interest in early childhood development (ECD), social and emotional learning (SEL), Learning through Play, executive function, and mental health and psychosocial support for teachers and learners.
Ms. Tabitha Nduku currently supports two projects—funded by the LEGO Foundation and implemented by RTI—focused on integrating Learning through Play pedagogies into teacher professional development systems and measuring Learning through Play to help researchers understand how play contributes to development in children.
Between 2016 and 2019, Ms. Tabitha Nduku served as the Regional Education Officer for Nairobi County in Kenya and supported Tayari, an early childhood development pilot project in four counties (Nairobi, Laikipia, Siaya, and Uasin Gishu). Under her leadership as a Literacy Expert in collaboration with the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development, her team developed learner workbooks, teacher guides, and teacher professional development materials. These materials were used by more than 2,000 ECD teachers and over 121,000 ECD learners in the four pilot counties.
In 2019, Ms. Tabitha Nduku served as the lead for the piloting of the Red-Light Purple-Light games intervention, which focused on testing the executive function skills of pre-school learners in Kenya. This study was a first in the sub-Saharan Africa region. She contributed to the adaptation of materials, teacher trainings, data collection activities, and ensured overall success for effective implementation and evaluation of the executive function pilot program.
Ms. Tabitha Nduku has published several articles and reports on studies related to primary and pre-school education.