If you thought history is only made after doing great things, then you better think again!
37 students at a local – Mwamzandi Secondary School – in Kwale County is reported to have registered 37 straight E´s. I mean E for elephant here. Whether this report is true, I’m yet to confirm; for I haven’t had a direct contact with the actual results of any school apart from what I have read in both formal and informal media.
But be that as it may, if such reports are accurate, then they must be treated with the seriousness they deserve. For starters, a normal classroom should have an average of 40 occupants. If this was the case in the said school, it means only three students managed D and above.
This also generates more questions…were the boys and girls at a school named for a prominent son of Kwale-Hon. Kassim Mwamzandi learning on their own for the last four years before sitting for the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education or were the fellows charged with tutoring not undertaking their duties properly. Put differently, wasn’t it possible for the management, teachers and parents of Mwamzandi Secondary School to detect that something was amiss in the four years that the students spent in school before they sat for the exams?
Reliable sources inform me that there is something particularly wrong with the discipline among the students of this hitherto good school. A recent visit to some of the local schools by the Court Users Committee made some interesting revelations concerning the ability of students to interact with visitors. While my sources have a lot of praise for one Madago Secondary School, where students are not only disciplined, but also confident while articulating issues, Mwamzandi students I’m told came across as a disappointing lot. Their concentration rate even during the short encounter they had with the CUC is below average as their way of engagement is casual. My informants were not surprised that they could manufacture as many E´s as possible.
But this is beside the point. The point is are we doing enough to address the customary lackadaisical educational standards in our county ? To be fair enough, the answer to my own question would be YES and NO. I’ll begin by addressing the NO part first. NO because we cry foul every time the exam results are out and then bury our heads in the sands like the proverbial ostrich when the shock and annoyance with those we think are culpable have dissipated. In fact from April up to December, it’s going to be business as usual. Then come December when KCPE results are out, we’ll resurface with the same old, boring noises as we prepare to witness what comes out from the KCSE.
YES because despite the education docket being in the purview of the national government, the county government has made it its topmost priority. This is the reason a larger number of learners at all levels are accessing bursaries and an equally larger number have the privilege to enjoy the CG scholarship for a cool four years-as long as they are hard working enough to score marks that are admissible in national schools.
The putting up of infrastructure for Early Childhood Development in Education as well as technical centres not to mention the hitherto controversial airlifting of the youth to study in India are a further evidence that someone is thinking critically about enhancing education in Kwale County.
But these efforts will not bear fruit if all of us don’t embrace education as the key to success. There is need for a complete overhaul in the way things are being done. If it was within my power, all the private secondary schools which have not recorded impressive national examination outcome would be denied the license to operate as they are a disgrace to academic progress in this county. All the members of the BOG of schools such as Mwamzindi would go home and parents in such schools would be made to report to the school management the progress of their children at home in terms of discipline and general behavior on a weekly basis.
At least someone should take responsibility every time we witness such disastrous performances. And there is a great need for the community to support the organizations working to uplift the standard of education by advocating for attitude change towards education. It’s also necessary to develop new strategies of enhancing educational standard and avoid as plague the unworkable once which we tried before but never bore any fruits. There is also need to have regular discourses on education just as much as we engage in politics. Let’s say, have monthly educational forums in each sub-counties to share challenges our educational institutions face and come up with ways forward in good time. Political leaders who are prone to putting up schools merely to gain political mileage must develop a culture of consultation with the community and education stakeholders so that such projects are not only relevant but also have the blessings of the community. I acknowledge that I don’t have a monopoly of ideas so I must stop.
But I challenge all of us to start looking at education issues differently