My two cents on what is happening in Kisii where several school dormitories have been set on fire.
By Silas Gesiora Nyanchwani
There have been several theories advanced. But mostly, it has to do with management of resources. Over the last ten years, there has been an idiotic belief that schools should be controlled by locals. Locals believe that the head teacher must be a local boy(rarely a girl). Some schools may have been burnt by locals out to ouster an outsider principal. It doesn’t matter whether the local principal perfoms or not.
Secondly, we have deputies with burning ambition who can’t wait to be principals and are wont to try some mischief.
Thirdly, I think churches, more so Catholic and SDA have an unhealthy control of schools and are often sources of too much pain to both teachers and students. They have really politicised school management. Many have said the collapse of the mighty Cardinal Otunga High School can be traced to the bishop of the Kisii diocese. An MP once told me he couldn’t not comment or intervene in the school’s affair as it will affect his votes.
But the last time I visited Cardinal, it was in utter ruin.
Lastly, each generation of kids demands a different way of being managed. When I joined high school in the aughts, our then deputy principal, soon to be principal banned bullying of any form. We were so lucky. The horrors of bullying had made us so nervous. But with his decree, no senior student would touch a “mono”.
Only prefects were pesky and quick with slaps. But by the time we were leaving, it was considered highly disrespectful for a student f to beat a fellow student. Personally, as a prefect, I may have caned or slapped a few handful boys but it is something I deeply frowned upon. Some seven or eight years ago prefects were burnt in a dormitory fire in a school in Nyeri as a sign that students despised fellow students lording over them.
There is a reason corporal punishment was abolished.
We are at time when kids are spoilt brats.
They raised as royalties. Teachers have to adopt to the kids demand. Do their job. Get paid and stop being overly tough.
If kids need mobile phones, give them. If kids want to watch the Euro, let them watch. All you can do, is control these things.
Parents need be encouraged to be closer to their children and treat them fairly.