Last week, I listened to the so-called marriage experts attempt to impart some tips on marriage on television. I say so-called because the wife of one the experts has been disparaging him all over the social media wondering what kind of advice he can offer when he has, according to her, failed miserably in his own marriage.
Nonetheless, he said something that I found interesting. Before you get married, he advised the young, it’s prudent to learn as much about your spouse to be as you possibly can. There are people, he said, who came to discover once they were married that their wife, or husband for that matter, was a believer in witchcraft and like Samba Mapangala sings, everything they do lazima ipitie kwa waganga. The marriage, he said, either ends or one person has to give in to the other. And it’s the non-believer in witchcraft who always gives in because the believer’s position is never negotiable.
I hear their talks behind several closed doors go something like this: “People have to take care of themselves. Lazima mtu ajijue. You can’t succeed without protecting yourself from people. So and so have been to these people, that’s why their business is booming, they say of the richest person in the neighbourhood whose wealth is purely from hard work.
This, they say behind locked bedroom doors because they also happen to be the first couple to arrive at church on Sunday or the mosque on Friday where they pretend to be the holiest of thou.
Just like the financially successful “achieved the fete by use waganga”, schools that excel in KCSE have the exams “leaked to them”. As such, some Form Four students are now demanding that their headmasters take it upon themselves to “do like other schools and bring them the exam leaks”.
Believe it or not, some schools have been burned after headmasters refused flatly to the bizarre requests. “Alliance si wanasomeshwa exam. Kwa nini sisi tusisomeshwe exam pia? Ask the students of these backwater subcounty schools that to compare with Alliance is like comparing a mbuta with an omena; only that they all live in water makes them share the name, ‘fish’.
Similarly, these places where students are burning dormitories share the name ‘school’ with Alliance or Mangu just because they have classrooms and blackboards. Most are mere juvenile care centres only different from babycare centres because of the age. Others are but fattening centres where adolescent where adolescents simply go to grow up at. At least some of those who attend these schools can’t fit any other description. Which, given the things they are doing is a misdiscription. They are criminals those boys and girls burning schools. And not just criminals but stupid criminals. For a clever criminal would use the opportunity availed by schooling to acquire as much education as possible. This for future use as criminals.
But more shocking, and hence more worrying, than the school fires are the reactions of some of the education stakeholders. Take for instance Knut secretary general Wilson Sossion. According to Sossion, the school unrest has been sparked by the reforms announced by Education cabinet secretary Fred Matiang’i. One pities the children that have the misfortune of sitting infront of this teacher. What crap he must feed them. No wonder he didn’t have an explanation for the fires the same time last year.
Sossion’s counterpart Kuppet secretary general Akelo Misori on his part said some unrests are caused by subcounty school teachers who upon visiting national schools where they find students wake up at 4am to study, they go back to Kulala Boys Secondary and introduce the same yet students are used to waking up at 6am.
Looking at a girl on television wailing uncontrallably as she looked on as a dorm burned and lament that her Blue Band is in the box, you ask why this school isn’t aptly named Kukula Girls High.
Say what you want but the problem starts at home. A boy who has no time for books but to sleep and a girl who wants to save Blue Band and not books can’t have acquired this habits at school. When students burn schools for being asked to do what is expected of a citizen their age, it means that this isn’t asked of them at their homes. They would have burned the homes, then. This mannerlessness that they exhibit at school is extension of the rottenness in their homes.
A rottenness that afflicts less than one percent of society; and that also reflects in our institutions of learning where similar percentage is the one causing havoc.
We would have been worried if it took tonnes of stones to destroy a dorm as then we would have known that the whole school participated. But a match stick. It’s how small this problem is. Which follows that it’s easy to solve. But parents hold the solution. They impart morals and values on their children or have them admitted to approved school. But if Muthama and Kuria aren’t in Kamiti, the students might ask, why us.