Free Education? Oh Please!!

                          Why Kenyan students need to Style Up.


When I gave up my  well-to-do corporate job in Upper hill at the beginning of this year to pursue a teaching career in Baringo , I envisioned active  classrooms full of students ready to challenge my theories and outlook on life . Perhaps my outlook on students was misguided when during teaching practice, I had taught a rather well-to-do private school in the City.

And so as I read Prof. Kabaji’s article on the use of guide books to teach in High schools, I wasn’t too surprised.  But unlike him, I want to place the blame squarely on the students shoulders.

 Reading seems to be a habit that today’s’ teenagers do not really like. No wonder e-books and movies sell that much. It is actually a reality that some students only read the books given by the KIE. Worse still is the fact that most actually read the guide books only or prefer to watch the plays on the books thanks to theatre groups like Jicho Four.

Is it any wonder that we no longer have legendary  short story writers  coming from this side of the continent?

And so I would like to absolutely disagree with my fellow teacher Oduor Obura who said that a guidebook is crucial. To me, it is simply a necessary evil that can be done away with.

Whether our education system is exam oriented or not, most guide book writers, write the guide book for commercial purposes and rarely because they’d like to bestow a huge, noble act to mankind.

You’ll find some of this guidebooks hurriedly written and quite shallow in content. Highlighting only one or two themes in the story. Unfortunately, most students take this as the gospel truth and just like a student using a Mwakenya, they find themselves unable to think beyond the guidebook.

So, instead of spending so much time pointing fingers, let us agree that free primary education is producing and sending half baked  students to secondary schools.

It is rather sad when a teacher cannot have a meaningful  conversation with their student just because the latter cannot converse in the queens language without switching to Kiswahili or sheng.

And so in my opinion, parents and their children need to style up and do their part in the whole education equation.


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