Education processes and systems in some countries more so in Kenya, has many traits that create great fears. This is attributed to complicated and congested curriculums which cripple learners to have poor memory, resulting into poor performance in tests and eventual laxity. No wonder George Bernard Shaw described school as an interruption to one’s education. But, it is only through education that one can make informed decision, solve problems, think creatively, communicate effectively, build health relationships, empathize with those in need and manage his/her healthy and productive manner. It is through education that one can change a lemon into lemonade that nature had handed over to him. Absolute poor people have become great men of this world through education and not forgetting Florence Nightingale, a reputable nurse during the world war and David Switcher a leprosy/ cancer doctor in Congo forest in Africa in the time of the black continent. Disparity in education and sometimes corporal punishment have created fear but those should be overcome so that a poor man comes out of poverty, an ignorant person is informed and a landless person owns land. Greatness will only come through learning. Learning imparts one with information and skills to overcome challenges, fear and becoming creative to make something out of nothing. Facts for the great man.
Education programmes and policy formulation should give courage to the learners to counter the rigid sequence of note learning followed by undeviating regurgitation in examinations. An education system that is not equitable and inclusive becomes selective as Bill Gates put it in 1999 book, ‘At The Speed Of Thought’ that no one is protected but only the fittest to survive. Many people are renowned for their energy and enthusiasm, for their thirsty for learning and their entrepreneurial spirit but these traits disappear under fear due to lack of courage to triumph over it. Good education calls for good teachers, child friendly schools, good teacher parent relationship, friendly terminal and summative assessment and evaluation strategies. The identification of the critical need for life skills education is a great encouragement in itself for courage. This is nicely described as the acquisition of abilities for adaptive and positive behavior that enable individuals to deal effectively with the demands and challenges of everyday life.
In Africa, in the olden days, a home without a girl or a daughter was like a spring without a source and a great king without a son his kingdom was tantamount to collapse because leadership was hereditary and a daughter was assign of wealth. Likewise in the modern world a family without education is a sign of recurrent poverty and is bound to extinct due to lack of information on health, nutrition and economic competition. Courage is vital in people’s day-to-day activities. We need it throughout our lives. Education empowers us with technological skills to help in discoveries and continued working thus triumphing over fear.
Nevertheless, Mandela was a time leader and educator. He provided a conducive environment for learning as the only way to help a needy person from the interior. He discovered that inadequate and poor infrastructure, including water and sanitation, in some of the schools, especially in the rural areas and urban slums compounded by inadequate equipment and teachers for children with special needs, and the long distances between schools are the main obstacles and fear of many to receiving education. This was embraced by many other African countries, more so Kenya. Mandela being an advocate for free and compulsory basic education in Africa used his networking and relating abilities with other progressive leaders transformed Africa and the world.
Like Mandela our leaders should declare that everyone has the right to education at least at the elementary and fundamental stages and that elementary education to be compulsory and to be enshrined in the constitution of countries. We believe that all people have an inherent right to develop their full potential and I call upon the international business community to sponsor talented youth with scholarships for college and university education. The leaders and the communities to establish and embrace E-learning as an option of teaching children individually and in small groups while providing electronic links to other schools and facilities in the region and internationally. Embracing and appreciating technological changes in delivery of education will give courage and enhance curiosity among our children.
Girl child education should be encouraged by providing sanitary towels to needy students to cut absenteeism and boost girls’ confidence. Our dedication and passion to the advancement of educational opportunities for all is inspiring our learners to risk, invest and be ready to pursue education to higher levels as conquerors.