Every parents dream is to have their child on the list of 100 best students in the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education(KCPE) because that will guarantee that their child will see the gates of some of the best schools in the country.For any parent with means to take their child there after they pass these examinations it is bliss but it is also sad to note that there are parents who though their children are bright and meet the criteria for joining these schools choose to forfeit these chances.National schools have all the facilities that apart from private run schools all other schools in the public school criteria dream about.Form well stocked libraries to laboratories to games and sport facilities you name it,these school have earned the title as they put a lot of hard work in their academics and only get the creme de la creme of the teaching fraternity.
We know all too well the anxiety and flurry of activity that greets the exam periods in Kenya.Street hawkers and supermarkets stock up on the success cards we love to send out to our relatives and friends children and in early November these young tots sit their exams hoping and praying to outshine their classmates and be declared the best student in the country.In late December just after the Christmas holiday is over the results are out and everything station goes out to look for these bright students n every far flung area of the country.Watching them extol the virtues of hard work and discipline it is clear to see they are glad the exams are over and done with and they can now move to other things.Yet in my opinion education should be interesting and fun because it never ends,i have yet to hear of a student who says they enjoyed their time in school.Drilling and cramming will never instill the curiosity to learn that should be the way we take everything in love.National Geographic puts it very well in their live curious advert,when you are curious you will seek to know and to you therefore learn and acquire knowledge in the process.
KCPE has been a constant fixture in Kenyan lives since the start of the 8-4-4 system of education.But as time goes on a lot of other parents have decided to enrol their children in schools that are offering the British system of education and some are sending their children to Uganda too our next door neighbor whose system is structured like the British system with students sitting exams in their sixth form and they have had the system since the 60’s
Education experts who determine what our children are taught in schools need to tell us if the syllabus they are offering to Kenyan students prepares them for the world out here.While education means different things to everyone and there is no one agreed definition even among the experts dictionary.com defines it as the act of acquiring general knowledge, and developing the power of reason and judgment.Looking at the cases of delinquency in Kenyan schools from burning of school property to riots it is time we asked ourselves whether we are imparting the right kind of education at home and at school.Education is a three legged stool and needs the parents,school administration and the student them selves for it to work.A missing link and it will not work,so parents do need to play a role in what their children are learning in school,they are stake holders in these process and need to make their voices heard and roles taken up seriously.If you read on the stories of successful people in various fields you will always hear the role a parent(s)played in shaping their lives and in instilling a love for knowledge.
Animals the world over look after their young and just watching the way a lioness looks after her cubs going out to bring food,showing them how to hunt as they follow her around and finally when they are big enough to go out and look after them selves is amazing.This is just a simple illustration of what education in the animal kingdom is ,about survival.While as human beings we don’t need to show them how to stalk and throttle zebras and gazelles we need to show them how to survive in the world today as it is with all its pitfalls and how to avoid the lure of easy money,drug and alcohol abuse and instilling values and cultivating virtues that will see them succeed.
I would suggest that our education experts take lessons from the best systems in the world and pick a few lessons that we can adopt to fit into our own.Even Uganda is a good case study because we have Kenyan students trooping there in droves, what are the students there learning that our children are not getting with the current curriculum as it is.Do we need to modify content on subjects to make the knowledge being imparted more relevant in today’s society?do we need to scale down on the subjects our children are reading in school ?do we need more subjects that are relevant in today’s world?these are the questions that i hope the concerned parties in the education ministry will be asking themselves as we seek for solutions that will prepare the next generation of Kenyans for the future.