Teachers waited, persisted and perspired, now make them rich

Napoleon Hill, an American author remembered for his bestselling literature on success, once remarked: ‘Patience, persistence and perspiration make unbeatable combination for success’.

One would be forgiven to think the author of Think and Grow Rich (1937) was advising Kenyan teachers. Love them or hate them, our teachers, known for making and executing strike threats, and who have called another one for this week, have a case to argue and should be listened to.

PointBlank serves all Kenyans — teachers, parents and school children included — and takes no side in disputes but supports teachers’ demands for prompt delivery of their 16-year-old promise for improved terms. Part of what they are demanding today is Sh47 billion for backdated allowances from 1997.

Successive governments have armtwisted them on the 1997 deal. Now no one would deny teachers  have successfully exhibited all the ‘Hill components’ of success and they, this time, should succeed.

Make no mistake: PointBlank does not, at all, support teachers’ strike, but believes teachers are demanding what is rightfully theirs.

Nobody can accuse the teachers of not waiting, or not being persistent enough. None. They have perspired enough to have the promise met. Let them succeed and grow rich!

Free education? Not in Kakamega Primary School

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Mr Godfrey Indeche, a parent of children at Kakamega Primary, is not happy with the school he describes as ‘public-private’.

He explains this,:“It is State-run but its charges betray the Government’s free primary education programme idea.”

Though Indeche’s claims are not new in this column, he says after a ‘long lull’, the school administration is back to its ‘old intolerable trade of exploiting parents’.

“Here, Class One pupils pay Sh4,800 admission fee irrespective of whether they are from its nursery school wing graduates or not. Pupils in other classes pay Sh1,300 yearly for a white elephant storey building project,” he says.

According to Indeche, parents have on several occasions lodged complaints with the area Ministry of Education officials but their silence is deafening.

Recently, the head teacher mustered guts to advise ‘disgruntled parents’ to seek services where education is free, he claims.

Also, Madam Emily Mkaluma wonders what definition free or subsidised day secondary school education takes. She can’t understand why she pays more than Sh14,000 for Form One student at Mwangea Secondary. Perhaps, Cabinet Secretary for Education Prof Jacob Kaimenyi can explain this to her.

Free data bundle that never was

Mr James of Nairobi is disappointed by a deal that seems to have aborted without his knowledge. “I am tired of making follow ups for a promise of 1.5 gigabytes of free data bundles for a modem I bought, recently.”

He claims to bought an Alcatel modem from Tuscom Phone Shop outlet at T-Mall three weeks ago and was promised the free data after sending a text to code 440 on Safaricom.

Dutifully, James did so but up to date he’s yet to receive the data as promised. He now complains of being taken in rounds over it.

He has called Safaricom customer care several times and from one of the calls he established the IMEI that Tuscom have is ‘unknown to Safaricom’.

“Please, somebody help me because at the end of the day, I need my bundles, if I wasn’t conned.” James can be reached on 0720932631.

And another Airtel Kenya customer, JD, has been complaining of her never working line for the past one month with not success or promise of any.

“I have complained to Airtel for times without number that my 0733701748 line is not working. I am not able to call out and receive calls only sometimes. What is happening, Airtel?” she asks.

DON’T YOU FORGET

Did Orange take client back to world wide web?

Recently, Telkom Orange’s customer Nancy Laura of Langata, Nairobi wrote here about delay by the firm to resolve an issue she had complained about. Nancy reported that although she paid for Internet on her Telkom Orange ASDL line in early April, her line unfortunately, went dead on April 14. She then reported to Orange and received complaint reference numbers for both the landline and the data service that was disrupted.

However, Orange did not sort out the problem and her visits to the company’s offices near Wilson Airport yielded only promises. The reference numbers she was given are 853901 (landline) and 853902 (Internet). Nancy said the line goes off every month yet she has never received any refund on the lost data service. Did Orange address this customer’s complaint?

‘Jicho Pevu’ or cops, who is smarter now?

Something is terribly wrong with our investigative arm of the police, Daniel SG Masha of Kilifi claims. Why? Officers are either incapacitated or unwilling to investigate cases without leads (read suspects)!

“I have lost side mirrors of my car to criminals twice within six months. At the station, the only thing police do is record in the OB and if there are no suspects, they claim there’s nothing they can do about the case!”

Masha wonders whether investigations is part of the police curriculum. “This is why most Kenyans consider Mohamed Ali of Jicho Pevu a better investigator than our trained officers!”

Point of Order
Nairobi's fake beggars’ business begging for bigger attention

Mr Irigacuhi, a Nairobi resident, is worried. Not for anything personal, but because he can’t understand what the County Government of Nairobi and NGOs operating in the city are doing to save street families from the June-July bad weather, which is now reportedly going below 10ºC. Again, he wants explanation as to what happened to once good proposal by the former Vice-President Moody Awori to have all idle youth hurled into the discipline centre in the name of the National Youth Service.

Irigacuhi doesn’t just want explanations. He is traumatised by a case witnessed on the city Moi Avenue, adjacent to Moi Avenue Barclays branch. “There sits an able-bodied woman at her prime age casually begging for alms and tokens for upkeep,” he says.

The presence of the woman didn’t shock, though, but not until he saw a toddler, probably 18 months old, she holds. The young soul, he says, is wrapped up to around its waist while the rest is bare naked. And due to months of neglect, lack of bathes and general unkemptness, the child has developed darkly body layers with dirt, with big eyesore bricks of swells ripe with pusses and scratches probably from lice and bedbugs bites. These bricks peel off leaving orgy and gape sites on the angel’s body!

Another worry for Irigacuhi: “This portrays an individualistic motives out there to gain from her own negligence and perils by ruining the fragile life of the angel. Passersby quite moved are unwilling to give alms for they consider her irresponsible and egoistic.”

He now believes this could be a new trick, subjecting innocent children to physical harm for well-wishers to contribute generously towards caring of the children by their caregivers, be it street families or women from their families who are just too lazy to work for their own but wish to be assisted in the streets!

Curb the influx

According to Irigacuhi, as a society, we can only assist as much. Institutions that care for street families are quite overwhelmed at times. But with clear vetting for neediness, these cases can be removed permanently from streets. And that’s why he wants the city county government, NGOs and the Children’s Department to constantly monitor these child abuses, which he considers worse than child labour. Better still, he wants authorities to mete severe disciplinary measures to deter the influx as well as criminality of child abuses.

He has some assignment for Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero: “He should set aside funds to cater for accommodation and wellbeing of such genuine needy cases, where early child development could be harnessed, productive works like carpentry, tailoring, masonry or computer courses taught with the help from generous NGOs, just to save these innocent children.

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Napoleon Hill American author