Children go to school to learn and be molded to become better citizens; able to relate with each other and the entire society respectfully. Education is supposed to facilitate social, psychological, political and economic growth. It is therefore disturbing that an increasing number of students are being lured into substance abuse while in school even as head teachers have been accused of stealing cash meant for running the institutions.
All education stakeholders must wake up and stop burying their heads in the sand as quality of instruction deteriorates. Learners, teachers, parents and the Ministry of Education should step up vigilance and address woes facing the sector. Kenya’s future is directly anchored on the quality of candidates we churn out each year from our learning institutions.
Teachers should be role models to the young impressionable minds placed under their care.
Parents must not abdicate their parenting roles and fail to instill discipline in their own children. Past surveys have revealed that majority of career parents have no or little time for their school-going children due to their demanding jobs. The children are often left to their own devices and house helps at home. This creates a fertile ground for the young ones to pick up undesirable habits and character of rebellion can easily be formed. We urge parents to take a keener interest in what their children are engaged in whether at school or at home. School cannot substitute parenting.
At school, Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i and his team must be role models to learners. It is disheartening to learn that some head teachers have been stealing money meant for free primary and secondary education. When the Narc government introduced free learning, the goal was to ensure all Kenyan children access a decent education. Since 2003, when FPE was introduced, hundreds of thousands of Kenyan children, who would not have gone to school, have benefitted from basic education. Why would a few selfish head teachers want to kill the dreams of so many young Kenyans? Those found culpable must be punished heavily to serve as a deterrent.
Dr Matiang’i has also announced new measures to curb cheating in examinations such as banning prayers in school, parents visiting days and mid-term breaks during the third term.
The guidelines have elicited mixed reactions from several quarters and the Cabinet Secretary should explain the reasons behind the measures, besides stipulating how they will be implemented. In a few words, learners should be spared sideshows and accorded an enabling environment to study.