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Editors Choice
Spare us this I-went-to-a-good school nonsense
By Dr Wandia | Updated Jan 22, 2019 at 15:08 EAT
Starehe Boys' Centre

Chumocracy is responsible for our obsession with exams 

Why insist on high school after one has done a PhD? Or has worked for 20+ years?

There is a sinister and toxic revival of "where I went to high school" rhetoric that is happening in Kenya. I think it's a form of uthamakism that wants to reinforce an elite through privileges afforded at birth or youth. And it makes sense because Muigai's only ticket to the presidency was the family in which he was born.

Now the Commission of Higher Education has said that all lecturers who did a single degree abroad must bring all their certificates, down to high school, for inspection.

I've also heard stories of academic departments choosing between against two equal candidates for a position on the basis of high school results. When KNEC was releasing KCPE results last year, its chairman Prof George Magoha went on and on about where he went to high school.

Think of it: why would a grown man, former VC of no less than UoN, a professor of no less than medicine, go on and on about his high school?

Why insist on high school after one has done a PhD? Or has worked for 20+ years? Does your work in your last 30 years not count more than your work in your first 15 years of your life?

We are erecting what I recently saw Pankaj Mishra call a "chumocracy," which is the stupid British ruling elite who together go through the same posh private high schools, then to Oxbridge to do PPE (Philosophy, politics, economics), and then give political positions to their former classmates, and together, are hopelessly incompetent at running the government.

Even here, the elite trained at all these prestigious wazungu-built schools are the same ones who wrote policies at independence that entrenched colonialism.

They are now running ministries and publishing houses where they get curriculum from British nursery school teachers, or judiciaries where they wear horsehair wigs, or tourism where they shamelessly tell foreigners to come expand the empire here.

Chumocracy is responsible for our obsession with exams because people know that high school follows your career for the rest of your life.

High school not only gives the certificate which discriminates against you for the rest of your life; it is also the place that gives you the networks to enter different spheres of power.

Kenyans have to shun these show-offs who won a lottery but want to tell us it was "merit" and "hard work" that got them there. It's all pure supremacist and elitist bs which is entrenching inequality and snobbery.

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