Evil Goes Up in Flames Not Seeds of Innocence
“In some parts of the world, students are going to school every day. It’s their normal life. But in other part of the world, we are starving for education… it’s like a precious gift. It’s like a diamond” Malala Yousafzai
Last year’s increasing in examinations cheating and irregularities saw over 2000 primary and 5000 secondary schools candidates results cancelled. Thus, drastic measures were required and the man in charge and initiative enough has been the Education CS Fred Matiang’i. In May this year he introduced immediate changes, which included:
- Banned Prayer Days, Visiting, Half Term Breaks, Sports, Prize-Giving Ceremonies, and Annual General Meetings in the 3rd Term of School.
- Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education exams were shortened from 6 to 4 weeks and all Head teachers put directly in charge of the tests. This is because it has been found that cheating is rampantly supported by teachers, police and the Kenyan National Examinations Council (Knec) officials.
- To make up for these changes, 2nd Term will end on 12th August and 3rd Term will last only 9 weeks.
- Kenya Certificate of Primary Education exams this year will start on November 1 and finish on November 3, while Form Four candidates will start on November 7 and finish on November 30.
This entire campaign has been to reduce any opportunities of interaction and the ugly corruption of cheating, so when schools are being burnt down things are not looking good for the students.
Over 100 schools countrywide have been burned and in most cases the fires started in the dormitories. Kenya has a large number of boarding schools and this has been one of the reasons for the leading causes of destruction and almost no loss of live, which also begs the question can this be a well-planned effort? Who are doing this and if the students did one of the first school burning such as the Itierio Boys School Kisii, then who made it a trend?
Education must not be burned down like this but maybe the innocence in the children is taken for granted and they really are the “arsonists”. Cheating is a transaction between two parties, in this case it definitely needs a student and the other party could be a teacher, exam official, school guard and absolutely anybody else who may have access to the exam paper. Therefore the student is guilty. Is the student under pressure from the parents or peer pressure or does the student have the selfish greedy desire to do this disgusting act of cheating? I believe it is a combination of all of them.
Where is the teacher in all of this? Money, money, money? Always the noise from the teachers, always strikes, always pay hikes and more nuisance. If 1% percent of the teachers are full of integrity and hard work then unfortunately their pleas have been falling on deaf ears. Dormitories shouldn’t be fired, but teachers should. Parents too need to be educated and be made to be more involved in the progress of their child. Parents too need to have sustainable incomes so they are not strained and resorting to desperate measures of earning that income. While the Education CS has ordered parents to foot the bills of these arsons, this whole matter needs to be investigated thoroughly. I would rather pay tax money for an investigation, results and implementation for change. This change should be all the way from Teachers Training, Schools Upgrade of Facilities and as much as is needed, because these students of today will be our leaders of tomorrow and how we bring them up will make all the difference to the country.