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Sunday, July 20, 2008

School Unrest Mirrors Our Violent Society

They say the best form of flattery is imitation. The violence presently rocking our schools can as well be mimicking our violent society. But in the face of PREDICTABLE secondary school unrest towards the end of second term our leaders borrow from the tired book of commission and task forces. Granted, the cause of student riots and arson in schools is a multifaceted phenomenon which is almost singularly oiled by corruption in its varied forms.

Second term of the school’s academic year is defined by mock exams that only succeed in straining students. These exams that are meant to provide a preface kind of feeling of the real exam later in the year are a complete paradox. While the syllabus is designed to be completed in four years, the mock exams in effect encourage rush teaching with a premium on quantity of material covered rather than quality. Add this to the preoccupation of KCSE ranking of schools and you get the best recipe for tension that only need a spark which is often readily available thanks to drugs and alcohol.

Our parents have reduced their responsibilities to biological, period. Abdicating parenting responsibilities marks the genesis and root cause of this teenage unrest. While boarding schools may be considered a colonial relic that has outlived its usefulness, disbanding them may be a quick fix that will only leave the problem to spread its destructive tentacles. The need for CHANGE in Kenya has never been more urgent especially in our education system. Teachers are overwhelmed by the twin roles of parenting gangs of energetic and often rebellious youths and imparting cognitive skills.

Lost generation
Corruption has its rightful place in the whole mess. Political influence and under hand promotions has bequeathed incompetent head teachers responsibilities they have no idea of handling. Well-performing secondary schools are cash cows for such principals whose resulting disproportional wealth leaves the other teachers demoralized when they see somebody unfairly reaping from their efforts. Corruption too also ensures steady supply of illicit drugs within schools. The untouchable drug barons hold Kenya at ransom while destroying her youth.

The present riots may be a reflection of a society steadily hurtling towards failure. Our leaders are not doing the unrest any good by falling to the old gimmick of task forces who will shamelessly end up duplicating reports from their predecessors. Lack of leadership in all shapes and spheres is our bane. When confronted with a crisis we resort to making impressions of motion with no singular actual movement. Our version of success is so warped in our HELL-FOR-LEATHER mentality so much so that scoundrels readily pass for role models for our kids. We are a country is dire traits and in critical need of RENEWAL.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

good piece

rather than repeat myself here, you raise another interesting point

I request the PM to make this a year of change from the norm

Let us for the first time start to see the full connected process from problem identification, through task committee, solution/recommendation and most improtantly final publication and resultant implementation of the recommendations followed by reviews and evaluation of the recommendations/solution

we've already had a glimpse although discordant view of such a process with the GR saga where parliament and govt operating almost in conflict but the actions (knee jerk reactions) and the processes were neither well coordinated or follow up to each other. in fact the president additionaly set up yet another committee to start from scratch.

we are still waiting for results and implementation of a dozen other committees set up by kibaki. perhaps with any luck, v2030 will be realised first then ....

Anonymous said...

These are the results of ODM using the youths to cause violence, root, kill and rape after last year election. So when these youths resume school, what do u expect? you dont have to be a rocket scientist taabu to read this connection, common sense. but since you dont see beyond your flat nose and your Raila,you cannot be blamed.

Ivy

Anonymous said...

WHY HAVE YOU NOT POSTED KAJWANGS CORRUPTION AT THE IMMIGRATION OFFICE. DOES IT REFLECT YOUR ORIENTATIONS? ARE YOU AN ODM PROPAGANDA MACHINE??

WHAT ABOUT NTIMAMA'S ADMISSION OF KILLING 600 PEOPLE? DID THAT ALSO PASS YOU?

PLEASE SAVE FACE AND CONDEMN EVERYONE WHETHER ODM OR PNU.OTHERWISE I AM BEGINNING TO REALISE WHO YOUR FINANCIERS ARE!!!!

WE ARE WAITING!!!!

Anonymous said...

Oh dear...who let the dogs out? The previous thread's comments were the best I have read in a long time. Guess why? Because the haters were probably away blogging in mashada.

Anonymous said...

Ivy

7:59 PM
The kikuyu malaya identity thief is back again- so ivy the thief cloning yourself here to spew tribal propaganda- mashada is missing you- why not pop there and show you nasty evil self. Do not shame other kikuyu's here- carry your own cross while spewing filth- you are the filth from the gutter that kenyans smell from far- shenzi wewe.

Anonymous said...

WE ARE WAITING!!!!

ANON8:32 PM
AND KENYANS ARE WAITING FOR KIBAKI TO ADMIT TO ORDERING THE POLICE AND ARMY TO SHOOT MORE THAN 1000 INNOCENT KENYANS- KENYANS ARE WAITING FOR KIBAKI AND HIS GOONS TO ADMIT (MUNGIKI YOUTHS ALREADY CONFIRMED TO THE WORLD THAT THEY WERE HIRED BY KIBAKI AND HIS GOONS -UHURU AND THE LIKES OF SAITOTI, MICHUKI AND OTHERS PNU GOONS

KENYANS ARE WAITING TO BE TOLD BY KIBAKI AND HIS GOONS WHERE THE MORE THAN 4000 YOUTHS ARE MISSING FROM THE JAILS THAT THE POLICE WERE PRETENDING TO BE HOLDING THEM IN AND NOW PARENTS WANT TO KNOW WHERE THE F------K THEIR SONS WERE TAKEN..

AND NOW IF YOU STILL WANT TO SPEW YOUR FILTHY PROPAGANDA HERE- GO TELL KIBAKI AND HIS MURDEROUS GOONS TO ANSWER ALL THE ABOVE QUESTIONS-

KENYAN ARE WAITING FOR ANSWERS WEWE MPUMBAVU SANA!

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:34, it is not the dogs...Chris has basically explained that Lunatics in European countries are allowed to blog and write comments and that is why some will even impersonate...But dont worry as they appeared they will disappear.

Anon 8:39 leave Ivy the impersonator alone....He/She will soon disappear dont let him spoil the broth....

Back to the post...I am really not sure what the society has become? When i was growing up i remember all of us sitting in the dining room to have our dinner at 8:30 pm...>Trust me i miss those days, nowadays it is practically impossible i am in a class where i belive there are men and women who have families and yet we are in class until 9:00 pm, by the time they fika their homes it is maybe 9:30 depending with where they live. Homes are practically run and managed by maids/servants as the man and the wife are busy with their careers getting one degree after the other..."Remember reading an article in the papers the "MBA Craze" i fear for the society, the maids/servants are mostly coming from disfunctional homes.
The days of going to church as a family are long gone, these days we have parents going to school/work till Sundays. The days that you will know it is a Sunday in Nairobi are long gone..>Nairobi is as busy as ever crowded these coz people are busy trying to put food on the table. Call it when push comes to shove. We see children as early as 5:00am and as late as 8:00pm in school and yet when they come home they still have homework to do..>Can't say how many days i have seen my nephew half sleeping and eating....We are a torn society and yes i agree with a blogger by the time a child reaches form 1 he is at the edge..>He is exhausted.
So the question is where do we move from here?
COz trust me if this is the society we are bringing up then believe me we are a doomed generation and the promised land is far...

Tabbu where have you been?

Ivy

Sayra said...

Taabu,

Rightly said lack of parenting and i add leadership marks the genesis and root cause of all the damages we are seeing. I said here before that leaders come in many ways not just from politics ie from business people, elder brothers or sisters or those older than us, the church, parents, etc but it was strongly opposed.

These youngsters are largely victims of negative ideas. Unrest is just a tip of what is really going on in high school and institutions of higher learning. A good talk to a high school kid will make you bust with fear to say the least ... and those who know what has been happening in colleges know that in 10yrs time or even less we will be in a totally different Kenya if nothing is done now to rectify the mess.

Looks like we under the rule of an iron destiny from which there seems no possibility of escape. The good news is that there is an escape, and the escape will ONLY be by going to the ROOT CAUSE of the mess. This means we need to get a few sober kenyan that will wisely postpone an inferior present solution to a greater prospective and permanent solution. That way at a later time we shall not undo our own work by endeavoring to force things to become that which by their own nature they are not.

We are all a wonderful people but we must be trained and developed to be useful something we have denied the present generation of kids and young people.

Ivy, i hope i have partly answered your question.

Mrembo said...

Ivy, I have to say I can identify with what you are saying. I have had a similar experience where a kid was being picked up by the bus at 5.30a.m in the morning and then comes back home at 8.30 pm in the night, thereafter she is supposed to have her dinner and then sit down to do countless homework and you have to sit up with her coz at the end of the day her diary needs to be signed!

This is torture not only for her but also to the parent, whats more the child even had to go to school on Saturdays yaani, at the end of the day you can even become strangers!

I also agree with your sentiments about 40-50-year 60-year old people in classes doing so at the expense of bringing up their families.

I dont know if I would peg school unrest to the violent society much as it is to the 'society under pressure'.

Anonymous said...

Sayra you have partly answered my question and i appreciate.

Mrembo nice to hear from you.

Taabu i forgot please it is not mocks, I did mocks, my paros did mocks and maybe even my grandpa...Mocks have always been here with us...I dont remember throwing a stone coz of mocks and it didn't make me a lesser woman.
For example Upper hill strike was coz of being refused to have a stupid mobile phone...Can anyone buy such crap? First i believe they are students so they dont have money, they can only have a mobile phone if their are parents are gonna buy them ....So next time you want an N series and your folks tells you No...Are you going to burn the house or your room? It is parenting and the kids no longer have mentors....Do you remember those days whereby you were asked what you want to become and the answer was obvious....I want to be like my Dad....Coz i was damn so proud of who my dad was.
Others want to have Dvds in school...What happened to preps in schools...Do they even have time to watch the stupid movies?

Ivy

Anonymous said...

Chris,

Another great piece and yes, the "School unrest mirrors our society" sad but true...

The only problem I have is with leadership, isn't leadership a reflection of the society it represents?? meaning doesn't pointing fingers at our leaders actually mean we are pin pointing our weaknesses?

Ken Thumbi

Taabu said...

Ivy/Knoppix,
It is a busy pre-season and only next weekend to go and the FIREWORKS begins. Ole wao pretenders. Kaizer Chiefs did well and Orlando Pirates next and we are done and ready.

Anonymous said...

The issue with these kids is that we are trying to educate them with an obsolete education sysytem.The current education sysytem in kenya has bypassed its usefulness in a modern day world , let us adopt a new education system that will nature talents and release pressure from the students.Why would a science oriented student be forced to shove music or fasihi down their throats , this just creates un-neccesary work load which in turn leads to high stress levels and we all know what this leads to.I understand that there is need to have well rounded graduates but you do not need to go indepth about subjects like swahili , if one can learn basic swahili and is able to commuincate fluently that should be good enough.Taking away modern tech products from the kids will not solve the problem , are we not the same people who aspire to be technologicaly advanced by 2030 , while others are advocating for one computer per child we are being petty by denying them simple tech gadgets , remember it is these youths who will realize the 2030 vision not ongeri and certainly not kibaki.

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