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Ten types of parents in every Kenyan school

TEN THINGS
By Silas Nyamweya | May 19th 2021

Next few days will be hectic for school head teachers. With new admissions, ongoing students and Magoha’s nascent syllabus, most heads have a full in tray. The biggest headache most school heads face is not from students or teachers but parents. Here are the ten types of parents every school head has to deal with.

1. Trouble maker:

They are the type of parents who are fully aware a certain school is sponsored by the church and follows strict Catholic teachings. They will have their children admitted into such schools but by second term, take the school to court so that morning mass can be cancelled or get a court order barring the catholic priest from stepping foot into the school.

2. Dictator:

They can pounce on their children, or even the teacher with blows and kicks at the slightest provocation. If their kid fails an exam, the dictator can thwack the living daylights out of the child in front of the entire school. Teachers don’t tell them the truth because like a carpenter whose main tool is a hammer, the dictator sees every problem as a nail.

3. Mr Lover Lover:

Staff wonder how he managed to get into the panties of the saved Mrs Mwamburi, the CRE teacher. He has ‘eaten’ Mrs Gacheri the cateress, did science practicals with the now pregnant Ms Wanjiku, who teaches biology, taken care of Mrs Odhiambo the widow who teaches English, and is currently running sexual marathons Miss Jelimo, recently hired to teach Mathematics. Rumours swirl about a miscalculation and the pregnancy the accounts clerk is carrying. The only person such a parent hasn’t touched is the principal, because both male.

4. Celebrity:

These parents are usually on television or in the gossip pages of newspapers. They are recognised even by the Maasai soldier at the gate and kids mill around them when they come to school. But they are broooooooke. Poorer than a church mouse and have fees arrears spreading over several terms. At one point, they will agree with the head teacher, to ‘market’ the school and have the fees waived.

5. Big man:

This parent is worse than Magoha on steroids. He or she is a senior civil servant or a politician who is a bully, foul mouthed, wields power and wants recognition. They don’t wait in queues like other parents but barge into the head teacher’s office followed by their moron bodyguards. The big man also expects his child to be given special treatment and if the dunderhead fails exams, it’s the teachers who are to blame. The big man can cause problems for the head teacher at the ministry so everyone dances to their tune.

6. I don’t care:

These are parents who were enjoying sex, and by bad luck, a child came along. A child to them, is a hindrance to their freedom, a bother like a pesky mosquito. They only take their children to school because the law demands that they do. They don’t attend any school function, they don’t monitor their kids academic progress and believe their core duty starts and ends with paying fees.

7. Kababa:

This parent grew up under biting poverty and finally made it in life. They spoil their children and believe their brats can never do anything wrong. Their fat kids are fed on junk food not the ugali and cabbage their dad grew up eating. The little showoffs usually come to school with laptops or phones that cost four times a teacher’s salary.

8. Shortcuts:

This is a typical shady businessman. He will try to find a way to pay the head teacher under the table so that he doesn’t have to pay the full school bus fees. He will try to compromise the career master so his child can win a scholarship. His child who isn’t needy goes to school on CDF bursary because he funded the area MP during elections.

9. Rich man:

These are the wealthy parents who know money can buy anything. Their children don’t put any effort in class but can’t be expelled because Daddy money bags agreed to sponsor the new science lab.

10. The businessman:

This parent sees life through Profit and Loss blinkers. Within a few weeks of joining the school, the man will be canvassing to supply dry cereals or printing paper tenders to the school. If his son flunks an exam three times, the child will be pulled out of school, enrolled into a driving school and given a lorry or matatu since the old man doesn’t see the need of wasting money in a project that won’t bring returns.

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