Education CS Fred Matiang’i has directed the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development to revise guidelines on school text books. …
Yesterday President Uhuru Kenyatta made good on his promise to provide new buses for several secondary schools and colleges.
Some of the students and teachers had the honor to collect the buses from State House.
Some of the lucky schools included St Mary’s Sosio Girls in Bungoma, Elburgon Secondary School in Molo, Chilchilla Secondary School in Kepkelion, and Uhuru Kenyatta High School Kabiyet in Eldama Ravine.
However, something stood out from the president’s remarks. As he urged the learners to work hard , he also asked parents to stop putting too much pressure on students to score highly in their exams.
We highlighted this issue a few weeks back when we interviewed some students on the burning of schools. Students are feeling so much pressure to deliver stellar results, that they are too stressed. We are glad that the president has spoken on the issue.
However we still maintain that the education system needs an overhaul.
A section of Kenyans on social media have criticized President Uhuru Kenyatta for ‘discriminating’ pupils of Titus Ngoyoni Memorial Primary School who he hosted at State House on August 4th.
The students were pictured posing for a photo with the president where some were standing and a few others squatting down on the front row.
Now the discrimination claims arose from how he treated a different bunch of students from the prestigious Pembroke House School a couple of weeks ago.
In the photo, the pupils were seen seated with Mr.Kenyatta on the first row with the rest standing behind in a composed manner.They were also accorded with a red presidential carpet.
Guys were quick to make a comparison of the two photos to show just unfair the students from the Marsabit County-based school were treated compared to their peers from Pembroke School.
State House Communications Director Dennis Itumbi denied the allegations terming them as propaganda by the opposition.He even tweeted this photo in defense:
Of course @Team_CORD you love making your perception a fact even when you are clearly skewed pic.twitter.com/UZ6vJcKMLe
— Dennis Itumbi (@OleItumbi) August 4, 2016
Kakea Mbachu is one of the students fine tuning their skills at the International School of Advertising. She sits tall and expresses herself confidently as she shares her story and therein her decision to come to study with ISA. Kakea got her undergraduate degree in International Relations at USIU but had always had an interest in PR. Her interest alone got her a job at one of Nairobi’s PR agencies where she worked while still going to school for her first degree. Upon graduation she realized that the International Relations world did not appeal to her and her heart was still set in PR.
“PR is in my blood, and I find the PR world exciting,” She says. The fire in her eyes is clear. She knows what she wants and she knows how to get it.
Kakea Mbachu is taking a CAM (Communications Advertising and Marketing) accredited by the Chartered Institute of Marketing in the UK. She knows that a CAM diploma will not only align her passion with the Communications and PR world but also prepare her to be at the cutting edge of professional development with practical skills in Digital Marketing and Communications.
“It’s great to understand the whole Communication ecosystem and the different roles within it and how they all interact in the digital revolution we are all experiencing.”
The CAM diploma is a 9 unit course covering Marketing Communications, Digital Marketing and Integrated Digital Media and Marketing. You can learn more about CAM alongside other professional courses here.
The big question begs…..
Why are students burning schools?
At the wake of Kenyan high school strikes and property worth millions burning into ashes, we sought teeniez’ view on this grave issue. The students, all from several schools had the following to say;
(Actual names withheld)
“We are tensed (sic) about the exam because there is no leakage this year.” – Peter
“Tough admins are a reason. School admins don’t involve us in making small decisions for the school. They are tough and harsh! The tension between us and teachers is due to the strictness.” – Tom
“Matiangi’s rules are too harsh. They are bringing exam tension. His rules are inconsiderate.” – Ann.
“Some people expected leakage in third term, so lack of it is just a major blow.” – Mike
“I think it’s just the students inciting each other; teachers have nothing to do with this. This is all peer influence amongst the students because we have no voice out there.” – Mary.
“Frustration is brewing amongst bitter students. As in the term has been extended and third term we have no activities at all, it’s a strain to us. Peer pressure is encouraging more and more guys to gang up and burn schools. The main problem is the fact that we have no say as students. They need to let us make choices. The pressure from Matiang’i just creates more and more tension.” – John
“The problem is not in the schools, it’s at KNEC. Locking us in school won’t make a difference. KNEC itself should reform. The shock of change of culture and tension about MOCKS and KCSE is exploding. We are trying to find ways to air grievances.” – Ken
“If people burn things and riot out there when trying to pass a message, then what do you expect us to do?” – Robert
“We have no say and rules are being made without considering our views. Due to this guys are looking for other ways to be noticed.” – Steve
From the reactions of these students and some of the school teachers we interviewed, we can deduce that there possibly could be a main reason behind the recent unrest. One that’s looming below the surface and most people can’t seem to identify clearly. It’s the big elephant in the room.
Could it be that exam fraud might be the trigger?
Could it be that the possibility of being unable to access exam “leakage” could be triggering the current wave of school unrest? Could the current Education CS be under fire because of his tough measures to end exam cheating?
Many Questions, Answers To Follow…
Ultimately we need to #StopTheFire
According to the National Aids Control Council, AIDS is the number 1 killer among Kenyans aged between 10 and 24 years.The highest numbers are among high school students aged 16-19 years.
These findings from 2013 were released by the Health Ministry yesterday.
These chilling facts point to the fact that young people are indeed having sex, even at the tender age of 9
The highest risk factor in this case is unprotected sex. The youth fear pregnancy more than they fear STDs and HIV/AIDS.
Burring our heads in the sand
As hard hitting as this may sound, it needs to be said, We as a nation are burring our heads in the sand when it comes to the youth and sex. We still have the mentality that ‘if we do not talk about it, it won’t happen’. Well open your eyes people, it is happening, Teens are engaging in risky sexual behavior without a care in the world,
We are losing our future generation right before our eyes.
The community needs to talk about sex with the youngsters more often. We cannot turn a blind eye to the fact that kids as young as 9 are having sex, without even knowing what it is. We need to be open about sex, but instead condom and kissing ads are being banned.
This is a wake up call!
December 2014 – January 2015
Rape has been a tragic social issue for ages. But in the 21st Century, you’d think we’ve gotten civilized enough to address it in it’s face, instead of pushing it under the rag. Ish gets even sadder when the people who are meant to protect you are the ones being accused of committing this heinous crime! We won’t even go into the kange undressing issue of a few months ago.
Now these animal instincts have spread to the people who we put in power; the ones we’ve entrusted with our country and its protection are abusing their power in order to take care of their needs. We think it’s gone too far. The moment an MP is accused of rape is the exact moment that we would need to learn how to take care of ourselves in case it happens to us.
If you have already done some of these things then stay calm and positive that forensic evidence can still be found.
For the time being, here is something for the men to ponder on:
Becoming an entrepreneur can be one of the greatest ways to start the career that you’ve always dreamed of. If you don’t want to work for someone else and have a great idea for a business, an entrepreneurship may be the right way to go.
But first, you need to think about some different funding sources. Consider how much you need for your start-up. Be realistic about equipment, inventory, licensing, marketing and everything else. Before you can move forward, you need to have all of your expenses covered. Once you establish how much you need, you will be able to tap into a variety of resources to assist you.
As a business owner, you have access to many of the same funding opportunities as other businesses. The only difference is that, if you are under the age of 18, you may need a parent to co-sign to prove that you are trustworthy enough to pay back the debt.
1. Self-funding – You may be able to get the money you need from your own funds. Whether it’s from setting up a lemonade stand, babysitting the kids in the neighborhood or even having a yard sale, you may be able to fund all the money necessary on your own. Usually this will only provide you with a small amount of funding, so if you need larger amounts, you may need to combine this with some other efforts.
2. Friends & family – Ask some of your friends and family if they are willing to invest in your idea. Most of the time they will give you money without making you pay it back. Watching you succeed is typically all they need in the form of re-payment.
3. SBA – The Small Business Administration offers a wide array of loans and grants to small business start-ups. When you have a business plan, you can contact this division of the government to see if you can get a loan or grant. Loans you will need to pay back, grants are free money. Your parents must be on board with your idea and be willing to co-sign.
4. Crowdfunding – There are many websites like kickstarter.com, peerbackers.com and indiegogo.com that will fund innovative and creative ideas. These websites will also work with teenagers without thinking twice.
5. Venture Capital – This is the top way to get funding, but VCs very rarely finance teens. The best thing you can do is contact them with a business plan or prototype (based on what they ask for) and see how they respond to your idea.
6. Tech Incubators (also known as Startup Accelerators) – If you’ve got a technology idea, such as game as a mobile app or something else, this is a great source for funding. Check out: designed for hackers, ycombinator.com and techstars.com. They will often provide initial funding and potentially even help you with other assistance along the way, such as giving you pointers on prototypes and introducing you to investors.
7. Bank loans – You may be able to go the bank route and try to get a loan. Try the bank that you have a checking or savings account with if you’re already a customer. Just make sure to take a parent with you because they will need to co-sign.
8. Business plan contests – Entrepreneurial endeavors are increasingly common amongst teens and you can use this to your advantage. Look for local, state or nationwide contests being held. Usually the contest is based on the quality of the business plan, not age, so you shouldn’t have an issue. The winner and the first few runner ups are the ones getting funding. Various websites and magazines designed for entrepreneurs are constantly listing these contests.
9. Vendor funding – If your business idea involves other large vendors, contact them to see if they are willing to help fund your business. If they are heavily involved in the community and like your business idea, they may be willing to go along with it. If there is a trade to be made or they can make money from your business idea, they may not expect to be paid back, otherwise consider offering some sort of payment terms.
10. Client funding – If your business idea involves a few strategic clients to get started, see if they are willing to pay upfront for the product or service that you are going to be producing for them. As a way to thank them for their initial investment, you can offer up discounts for the future or give them some sort of special treatment.
“If this play is a success, I would have demonstrated that determination is greater in worth with than numbers.” This is Jusper talking to Tumbo in Francis Imbuga’s Immortal Betrayal in the City.
The above quote aptly captures a life truism that persistence pays however lengthy and convoluted the journey is. KCSE 2014 examination is weeks away and as each day passes the candidates are in two disparate camps. One, well prepared and appetizingly waiting to walk majestically into the examination halls while the other limping like lambs going into a slaughter house.
Precisely, that is the naked reality that we have to grapple with. It must be mentioned however that success is a matrix of many variables intertwined intricately. It is also relative and never absolute.
Some people equate success to achievement while to others it is synonymous to good grades. As we start sending trucks of cards wishing our beloved well, let us all realize there is life beyond examination results. I once heard somebody remark, “Good results are necessary, but better than that is what you do with the results.” I can’t be persuaded more. To most parents and teachers good grades epitomize success. The means justify the end. Hardly. No wonder some have become victims of their own success.
When results are neither presentable nor palatable, then rants and “…I told you…” become the norm. In spite of any positive effort or cumulative achievements one has gathered over the years. It reminds me of Cyprian Ekwensi’s short story, Laws of the Grazing Fields where Amina laments about her boyfriend Yalla when she is manhandled by her brother.
“Yalla was to have come to the hut at the hour when the hyenas begin to howl over the grazing fields. He was to scratch in the manner peculiar to the grey howl that steals chickens and she would then know that he was waiting for her under the dorowa tree.” When plans go awry the blame must be placed at somebody’s doorstep.
Then, how does one prepare for the last lap? Unbeknown to most students, confidence is the fulcrum that allows them to comfortably navigate through exams with a constant velocity. Confidence is gained through proper and early syllabus coverage. In my school we manage this by end of third term in Form 3. No wonder then that our results walk beyond the talk. That’s Pioneer for you!
A conducive examination environment is where there is constant and continuous teacher interaction, friendly and supportive classmates together with a listening administration.
When we harness the above with a student who thinks in a vector manner then with God on our side surely success will magnetically attract us.
“I’m going to think about reasons why I can succeed in each venture I consider and ignore that long list of reasons why I can’t. Attitude, not intelligence is the great success maker.” –Walter A. Heisy
By Mr. Odhiambo <Math and Business-ED>