January 3, 2012 2 Comments
By Harrison Mumia
I had been enjoying my holiday till I saw parents on Citizen TV dancing with their children for scoring 440 / 500 MKS. It was comic. The parents did not seem to realize that the world today has changed. The dancing and screaming for me was a sign of short lived pride, and a lack of understanding of the world we live in. As Sam Ongeri announced the results, I realized how backward we are as a society, how crappy our education system is.
In the United States, have you ever heard an education minister coming on CNN to announce results? Or in Canada? Did you see parents dancing on ABC, NBC, and other TV stations? It’s because their education system emphasized capability and talent, not merely education as Kenyans know it. We seem to praise the children who get 400 MKS as if they are the brightest. No !! It’s our Education System that recognizes this stupidity. Children are not all about their marks. We should create a culture of appreciating other capabilities, like football, swimming, singing, dancing, for not all children can be the same.
Our media, by going berserk about the results, is creating the impression that all that matters in Kenya is the stupid KCPE results, which most of us do not even put in our CVs. We should have an education system that recognizes that humans are capable of many many things. We should scrap KCPE, and we should avoid grading students based on marks. It’s outdated and not helpful.
Let me first congratulate the average students who got 300 MKS. For them, all is not lost. They will become the Caroline Mutoko’s of the future, the Mwalimu Kingangi’s, the business men and women who shall run vast empires.
For the celebrating parents, hold your horses. Today in Kenya, Jobs are scarce. Everyone has a degree. And degrees are not difficult to get. Even with a C+ your child can do medicine. So it does not matter that your child scored highly in primary school, let alone high school. Higher education has been liberalized. It matters less what your child did in primary school.
And the Job market has changed. Kenyans are more jobless than ever. Degrees do not guarantee jobs. Sometimes ethnicity will do you a better job at getting a job. So to those celebrating parents, relax. You are just being rush when you celebrate. KCPE results mean nothing, if only to demonstrate that your child has basic capabilities of learning and retaining stuff.
And Alliance High School and Starehe are no longer those prestigious schools that every parent wanted their children to go to. We have schools that have come up and are offering quality all round education, where they build talent and potential. And parents have realized this.
KCPE results are meaningless, and they just show how our Education System is messed up.
Harrison N. Mumia, Central Bank of Kenya
Copyright © The Atheist