Enforce basic education act stipulations on the official school hours
SEE ALSO :Send cash to private schools, State toldThe delinquent The vehicle the girl was trying to stop could have been a matatu, in which case all would be okay. It could have been a private vehicle whose occupant has a human heart, or it could have been one driven by a pedophile. In the latter case, the delinquent would have stopped at that dark hour and picked the little girl without anybody taking note. Is the quest for education worth the risk of losing a child? Several incidents in Kakamega came to mind. Over the last three years, at least four little girls were abducted in the ‘ungodly’ dark morning hours while going to school, only to be found dead, having been murdered, a few hours later. And while such issues should be highlighted by parents and the National Parents/ Teachers Association, both find comfort in proposing ridiculous ideas like a standard school uniform for all schools in Kenya. School boards, mostly occupied by parents considered ‘well to do’, the type that abdicate their parental responsibilities to teachers, do not help. In many schools, they shoot down proposals by concerned parents to modify school hours; petrified of taking care of their broods for longer than is convenient for them. Basic skills Going to school that early does not improve learners’ abilities. It simply burdens teachers with having to coax half sleepy, tired and withdrawn children to be attentive. The strain on teachers is too much; a fact reflected in the end product that employers in Kenya have been roundly condemning. Many university graduates have been observed to lack basic skills in the supposed areas of their competencies. Some studies conducted on school going children have returned the verdict that class 5 pupils are unable to solve class two sums. Other studies have shown that some Standard Eight pupils cannot write intelligibly even as some are completely unable to read or write. What then do the early hours achieve towards bettering education standards in schools across the country? Studies by reputable institutions like the Twaweza Trust have over time demonstrated that education standards in the country are going everywhere, except up. The ministry of education, parents and their associations are complicit in this ignominy and must wake up to reality. Reversion to the Basic Education Act 2013 that factored in a number of pertinent issues is an imperative. An attentive child who does not have to battle pneumonia brought on by the early morning chill is a better proposition for this country. It may sound preposterous, but a change in reporting times could bring down the healthcare costs for many parents whose kids literally survive on medication for colds, flu, coughing fits and pneumonia, among other respiratory diseases. Fatigue, stress and mental illnesses that trigger suicidal thoughts could also be taken care of. Too much time in school is partly responsible for the disconnect between parents and their children. That contributes to the decline in moral and societal values that held communities together while also instilling discipline in the youth from an early stage. Mr Chagema is a correspondent at The [email protected]
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