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The real cause of moral decay in our schools


“So when they continued asking him, he lifted himself up, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her......... And they who heard it, being convicted by their own conscience went out one by one beginning at the eldest and even to the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing before him.” John 8: 7-9

The above is an incident from the Christian Bible. The holier-than-thou crowd of Scribes and Pharisees find a woman in the very act of committing ‘tabia mbaya’ with a man. They frog march the woman to Jesus and demand that the Law of Moses – stoning to death - be invoked.

No word about the man she was caught with! Like that ‘righteous’ crowd we all stand convicted by the scandals buffeting our education sector and indeed the decay of moral values in the society.

As a nation, we must search our conscience. For as Chinua Achebe would aptly put it, things have fallen apart and the centre can no longer hold. We have been witnessing disheartening scenes in our education sector. Some teachers discovering ‘wife material’ in their innocent students. School dormitories being burnt down. Students being suspended from school on allegations of not just sex but, yes, sex scandals.

Primary school kids being tear gassed so that some powerful land grabber can ‘develop’ their playing field. A student dying after his school-lab-manufactured alcohol turns out to be too lethal for his young limbs. And now the ultimate national shame -- a photo of a semi-clothed school girl who was stripped by police doing the rounds on social media. The girl is said to have hidden drugs in her private parts.

The teacher who defiles a student could as well be your relative while the kid whose innocence has been taken could be your daughter, sister or son. Yes, our boys are no longer safe. The coffin being lowered into the ground could one day bear the grisly remains of a loved relative – the innocent victim of a school dormitory fire.

The abominable photo doing rounds on social media - across the globe – could as well be your daughter’s or sister’s. Whose dog ate the adage of ‘not spreading out the dirty linen in public’? We have sunk rather too low. Yet, we expect our children to behave well while we misbehave and are busy vandalising their future?

Our children are exposed to corruption and immorality at every other turn? President Uhuru Kenyatta’s gesture of allowing matatu’s to spot graffiti has been soiled - literally. The ‘nganyas’ our youth board play music whose sexually-explicit content belongs in the devil’s disco hall, while the obscene graffiti and photos praise social disorder and deviant behaviour.

Yet, we have the audacity to act shocked when students set dorms ablaze or engage in drug-induced sexual orgies. Chances are that the police officers who uploaded the girl’s photo had just pocketed a bribe from a matatu driver or a drug dealer. Our fixation with boarding schools - for better results - aided by our collective desire to evade parental responsibility has seen us convert every other four-walled structure into a boarding facility.

For some school principals, it means more money in their pockets. As for the ‘hustling parents’, there is more time to indulge in their hobbies; Mum soaks herself in soap operas while dad has enough time to bet on European football clubs. Meanwhile, the orphaned boys and girls turn to each other as a way of filling the void. One wonders how day schools like Strathmore and Kianda School still manage to post stellar results in the national exams.

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