Published by Youth Edition
Over the weekend I had an opportunity to represent my parents on a parent’s day at my sister’s school in the village. Besides all I decided to observe the behavior of parents with children, teachers with children, pupils verses pupil as well as teachers and parents…
To say the truth based on the observations, we have a real problem as a people or parents to bring up responsible young people.
I observed many things including, how parents fear discussing certain things as sex, discipline and finances with their children and with teachers. I witnessed greatest levels of sycophancy of teachers to parents and vice versa where parents and pupils were afraid to voice the true issues facing pupils and teachers. I also experienced the enormous gaps continuing to exist in the relationship of children to parents, to teachers and among the teachers.
I sadly saw the much emphasis plus concentration on academic performance as opposed to an all round performance, learning and knowledge understanding. I saw the continuous denial of change of the way things are changing , denial of technology and its effects to children at home and school. Denial of teachers poor attitude and lack of emotional balance as a major hindrance to proper learning in school. Fear of asking right questions and continuous blame games from teachers to students to parents with less creative or new ideas to promote education and not schooling. Most discussion revolved around mean scores and the kind of schools pupils are expected to go to post primary exams.
Upon sharing my few thoughts to this gathering, of course in support of and seeking inclusion of updates from co-curricular activities, asking teachers to be evaluated by pupils, asking to have unique awards opportunity to inspire creativity and performance, to engage with students and involve them in decision making processes and lastly allow room for special guest to speak to the pupils as counselors or inspiration speakers. I appeared unpopular and uninformed to many as I spoke, the good thing is I honestly shared my mind for the best interest of Kenyan youth, history will tell.
Our current teachers and parents should be the first source of hope for a better and responsible youth generation. This is sadly the case as parents are not friends of their children and teachers too being human are not doing their part. My thinking tells me that there is need for serious investment in curriculum reviews, capacity building and exposure training to all teachers, put clear evaluation options of teachers, parents and children, introduce and reintroduce entrepreneurship, agricultural, art and music subjects, focus most hours of teaching to practical and experiential learning and use of internet including video, audio training and guest speaker series for learners.
I propose more evaluation levels say at class four then class eight or class four, class six then eight all to be averaged to get the real evaluation for our children. I urge parents to also play our part not to baby our children but to bring them up with values, discipline, respect and fear of God.
On a more serious note the government reforms in education should consider to revise up the remuneration of teachers to be motivated to serve diligently and also to employ more teachers in schools to promote quality education.
Kelvin Keya ,
The writer is a youth consultant, coach and trainer at Alladin Concepts Ltd –Nairobi