End of the year holidays are here with us and Christmas is fast approaching sooner than you know it. To most learners in the first two stages of the popular 8.4.4 Education system in Kenya, school term is over.
You only need a 10-minute walk down the streets to see the yoyo boys and girls from school hanging out and counting every vehicle that passes by. Hahaha.
Interestingly, given the age limit that most pubs and local entertainment joints have, most students find themselves under 18 years of age and therefore restricted from raving. However, many will still find their way in.
Conversely, disco matanga has become the modern day entertainment sensation. This mostly happens when a neighbor or acquaintance in a given neighborhood losses a loved one.
According to most African cultures, the dead are supposed to be given a befitting send-off and their last wishes respected. As is the norm, there is usually a mourning period decided by family members to the deceased and the funeral committee involved.
Such mourning periods come with a lot of visitors turning up to condole and mourn with the family of the deceased. In most instances, there is always music that is played to calm nerves and give solace to those undergoing the loss.
What beats logic nowadays is the fact that DJs have taken over the music systems in funerals and converted them into discos for both old and young to dance and drink freely without the fear of being victimised or apprehended by anybody whatsoever.
Yeah, you get what I am trying to say and this leads to my next line of thought.
Our kids, given the freedom and spirit of adventure they now possess, will no doubt find their way into such impromptu, makeshift discos. In such cases, correction becomes a vocabulary as everyone turns out to be a reveler that now has a third eye.
Incidences of immorality and our young girls getting unwanted pregnancies are likely to be palpable.
Disco Matangas aside, I am not here to give any lecture on parenting but as a matter of fact, our children need to be engaged in constructive activities this holiday that will add more value to their lives.
One most valuable thing you can do to your boy or girl child student is to offer them tutorship or a private teacher who can teach them at home.
Sorry, maybe you expected me to mention a sporting event or tour in Malindi with your family.
You can think about that later but first things first.
In 2014, the then Education Cabinet Secretary Jacob Kaimenyi while attending a Unesco event at a Nairobi hotel dubbed Education for all, decried the poor pupil (student) ratio in Kenyan schools.
“The pupil-teacher ratio is one measure of assessing progress towards education for all. Due to financial constraints, we have not been able to meet the international standard. In many schools the ratio is above 42:1, with as high as 85:1” Kaimenyi was quoted.
Read more at https://www.standardmedia.co.ke/article/2000111214/pupil-teacher-ratio-now-more-worrying-says-education-cs-jacob-kaimenyi
This upsurge of students in our learning institutions was brought about by free primary education initiative initiated by the Kibaki administration.
Thanks to the regime, many parents got the privilege of educating their sons and daughters for free throughout their primary education.
However, the unhealthy trend of a poor pupil-teacher ratio is bound to be the same or worse if a politician’s promise of a free secondary education is anything to go by.
10 years ago, while still a student in high school, our class teacher handled a class that comprised of 60+ students. My uncle who also happened to be a student in the same institution 5 years prior says their class comprised of 35 students only.
Flash-forward your daughter who is in Form 1 right now as a K.C.S.E candidate in 2020. With a possibility of a free secondary education her way she might just be in a classroom with 99 other students.
You tell me how one teacher with red blood cells flowing through his or her veins is going to pay attention to one student. Before we even ask for more, the scripts to mark are already overwhelming.
And it is not like the Teachers Service Commission is planning on a massive teachers recruitment anytime soon.
It is for this simple reason that as a parent, you would rather chop off part of your festive budget to guarantee your student child a thorough home alone understanding of the subjects and coursework already covered in school.
More so, the tutor will be resourceful in preparing your kid for the next coursework coverage when the new school term begins.
That said, it is also important to note that people are empowered differently. Some parents, have the resources to educate their kids in the best of private schools in Kenya and abroad. In that case, the worrying trend of the pupil-teacher ratio in public and some private schools does not arise to them.
On the contrary, the majority of parents have been great beneficiaries of the Free Primary Education and would definitely welcome the idea of a Free Secondary Education too.
Though cash draining, putting aside that cash to hire a tutor for your school going kid could just work magic to his or her performance when the next school term begins.
I’m done. Maybe I should revisit the idea of a family camp or sporting event in someplace yonder but that is a topic for another day.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.
Thanks for stopping by.