African Press International (API)

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Will the Kenyan Education Dream Come True?

Posted by African Press International on April 5, 2013

  • By Benjamin Rutto, Kenya

As the dust settle after the March 4th General Elections, Kenyans are busy doing post-mortem of what transpired during elections across the country. Some still celebrate their victory, others mourn while others still follow-up the petitions in court to challenge their competitors win.

My concern lies in the future of the coming generation. Since I started schooling, I thought change will just come like the rainfall season. I was wrong; I have realized it is a fight just the way our forefathers fought for our independence.

Taking a view on the background level of education, –primary education. I studied in a mad wall classroom with no enough desks and books. We use to sprinkle water daily before we sweep and on Fridays we use to smear the floor. I think that is where I learned to be responsible and to tackle issues the way they come. Till today, some school structures have only been improved to permanent walls with neither window panes nor door frames.

I think that is better, I know some people studied in a more unfriendly situation such as under the acacia tree of which some still do it. The class shift together with the shade. Imagine being in that scenario; the wind, the sun, the rain! I know what you feel but keep it to yourself.

Teachers are also a big problem behind the above. I remember at one point when I volunteer to teach my former primary school because of this enormous challenge. This has been taking place since independence, by this time, we are a step ahead. We have many teachers looking for job but the government is in dilemma, we have money pending for the few teachers that we have. I think this has resulted to more teachers loosing morale and engaging in business. I wonder if this will come to an end.

If you take a turn and see at our libraries for those schools which they have one, dust has occupied the empty shelves. In the school, we only have three copies of Mathematic text-book of which one is with the teacher and the other with the two pupils. This has made our teachers qualified lecturers. They just lecture then give the assignment of which goes unmarked.

Thanks to the Kibaki government for the free education. Indeed, our young generation is schooling but, what is the quality of this education? How can this “Lecturer” access the work of three times the number of the required forty pupils in a class room? Imagine a Standard Four kid is asked to go and research on a question yet there is no research material. Some just see the cover of the book when the teacher is in class but doesn’t know the content in it.

Currently, we have schools still closed in Tana Delta because of insecurity yet at the corner, we have national exam registration. They even don’t know where their teachers are, their school uniform and their school bags. What has the government done about this?

With this few mentioned stumbling blocks, we anticipate our children to perform well in school. A son of a peasant in King’wal Primary School in Uasin Gishu County is expected to compete with that of a refugee in Central Dagahaley School in Ifo refugee camp, Garissa County, that of pastoralist in a mobile shepherd schools (lchekuti) in Samburu County and that of a business man in Makini School Nairobi County. Is justice prevailing or derailed?

I would like to support the incoming government to put a lot of efforts to this sector. From the Manifestos of the presidential candidates, we see some good plans about the education programme. More weight on what is trending is the issue of Solar Laptops from the Jubilee coalition. I believe everything is possible but; consider the security of these Laptops. Where will it be stored if some of us don’t have Classrooms? How will it be maintained if the available Classrooms are that dusty? Finally, our schools lack enough teachers, who will teach them?

The common thing is the issue of free education, Kibaki made it possible and of course the next government will be possible. The questions are who will teach them? Where are the textbooks? Where will our children study from?

Kenyans, let us think outside the box, some of us have gone through this fight and came out successfully while some are in the verge of bitterness for not performing well. I don’t blame you; I blame the nature and the society that we are in. Come out and stand to save the future generation.

 

End

 

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