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Fred Matiangi cannot manage students, Mike Sonko can
Editors Note: Students have burnt down property in two schools within a space of two days and the whole nation is left wondering, just what is going on with our kids at school? Is there a genuine reason that would drive a child into thinking of setting fire on property he/she needs badly?
Is there a parenting lapse? Are our children well disciplined at home and has society just sat back and forgot the role of instilling discipline in children.
Questions are being thrown around as to exactly why the generation that left secondary school in the 90s and early 2000s submitted to authority more than the current crop.
I am reading in the news that Fred Matiangi , the Education cabinet secretary, yesterday drove into Nyamache secondary school in Kisii County, ripped the students apart and warned them with dire consequences if they attempted to emulate their friends in Itieirio, who razed down 7 dormitories the previous night.
The news is that the students did not even allow him to touch down Nairobi safely.
No sooner had the abrasive CS left the school than the students, who had been sufficiently rained on by the CS, decided to put the warnings into the ultimate test – going on a rampage and setting some blocks on fire.
Don’t care generation
The average High School student in this country do not know how Fred Matiangi, looks like; and they don’t care.
If you are looking for a generation that would weaken at the knees when Fred Matiangi is speaking, that generation is not this one currently in high school.
The reason those who went to school in the ‘90s and early ‘00s quake in their boots at the sight of authority voices like Matiangi is because we plucked that trait from home.
My father was a no-nonsense disciplinarian, whenever he was summoned to school for a disciplinary matter involving any of his children he would arrive with a stick of his own – ready to beat us into a pulp.
You should see those children dance themselves silly; I have had to cover my face in disbelief the way they twerk their tail feathers dry.
The reason those kids from Nyamache burnt down their school even after being warned of dire consequences is because they have no attachment to Dr. Matiang’i or any government authority.
The school administration can be rattled by tough talk from the Ministry of Education but the children would never be.
If that child is expelled today, I can assure you here, and now, that their parents would find them a school tomorrow, without batting an eyelid.
The children know this; that their parents will always have their backs in whatever they do. And if they ask for a transfer, their wish will be their parents’ command. You know its true.
Look, and please don’t ignore this: You and I know of children who miserably failed in their KCPE but because their parents are high up the government food chain, they are now in public national schools taking the space of poor children who could not afford school fees.
They bought those places, with money that can buy a plot in Kitengela and leave me with enough loose change to throw a round to a million friends.
You and I also know of those KCSE students who failed miserably but are now in Medical School, or Law School, or Engineering School, privately-sponsored.
These are harsh truths we must confront, because it is where the rain started beating this hypocritical society.
These bad manners, of burning schools without a care in the world, begin right from home – and perpetuated by a murky system that rewards mediocrity and punishes hard work.
I am ready to bet my last coin that the ring leader of that gang who went to torch school property in Nyamache comes from a background of privilege.
He knows, like you and me, that even if he gets expelled, his parents will effortlessly work up the phone lines to get him a new school within no time.
He has been brought up in a world of endless options, where a treasonable act is rewarded with a slap on the wrist. It is the same way this society deals with grand corruption, where those who loot public coffers get heavily rewarded with high-profile jobs.
“Don’t worry that children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you,” – Robert Fulghum
The opinion article was shared by Gabriel Oguda. The views expressed here are his and do not necessarily represent those of TUKO.co.ke. We welcome opinions through firstname.lastname@example.org