Why Schools unrest?
Schools unrest “Ooooohhh My God, another school has gone up in flames” these seem to be the words on every ones lips this winter season. As true to the word, another school is going up in flames, what an academic waste, i guess this can only happen in Kenya.
Schools unrest this year have hit proportions inexperienced in the past. As of today 114 schools have gone up in flames amidst a variety of theories that attempt to explain the reason of Schools unrest 2016.
Second term is usually the term with the highest reported cases of Schools unrest, but 2016 has had the highest share and here we are not talking about student demonstrating about the school compound but a loss of property through burning of dormitories, administration block and other school property.
Theories behind Schools unrest!
Theories have been advanced right, left and center as to the real reason behind this Schools unrest. As a blogger am not sure which theory to take or use or what comparison to use on Schools unrest. Striking students in Schools unrest is not an unusual occurrence it has been practiced before but it has advanced in both the effects and affects, mmmmhhh in this time and age we can say it has gone digital.
As i write this article i wish to explore reasons on Schools unrest in various dimensions, Starting with the dimensions given by students themselves as to why the Schools unrest.
Various students have been asked to explain the Schools unrest and this is what was said according to the daily nation of 29 July 2016.
Exam Cheating fueling Schools unrest: Students and some of their school administration staff want to cheat at exams and the strident measures to prevent this has angered the student fraternity and some schools administrators leading to Schools unrest and desire to burn schools as a way of punishing the Cabinet Secretary of Education on his directive. The Cabinet Secretary has confirmed this and has retaliated that he is not relenting on Examination cheating which has been a serious hazard to education in the past.
Some of the students interviewed on grounds of anonymity have further confirmed that Schools unrest is also being fueled by the Cabinet Secretaries refusal to allow prayers (prayer day) and visiting by parents in the third term as a further means of curbing exam cheating. Most students feel they should be visited by their parents as often as possible as they need to get pocket money from parents for their survival in school.
School Administration fueling Schools unrest: some of the students interviewed sited absentee school heads who are not available when the students need them thus lack of dialogue widens the gap between students and administration and the frustrated students vent out their anger on school property so as to get attention. Some of the school administrators also encourage Schools unrest for their own selfish gains.
Insecurity in schools seems to be affecting some schools in that outsiders are able to access the school and steal mattresses and other student belongings causing Schools unrest. Another student said that stopping student from eating in dormitories, caused anger among the students. In another school student went on the rampage after they were denied watching a favorite football game, while another school they sited sporadic transfer of teachers as a reason for Schools unrest. Other reason cited causing Schools unrest includes having tea on specific days.
In a specific school in western Kenya, they said Schools unrest was caused by lack of a trained nurse in the school to attend to them when ill, introduction of canning and increase of school fees by 3000.
Peer Pressure Causing Schools unrest: With availability of digital technology, social media and communication gadgets students seen to be trying to outdo one another, and hence if one school is torched, other students pick up the trend and rettwit the fire trend in a more sophisticated manner in one particular school 8 dormitories out of 12 were razed down, making a wicked record of a kind so far. It is like they are sending a student torching selfie to one another.
Political influence causing Schools unrest: A student interviewed from a school in Nyanza said that “the School unrest is as a result of wanting to get attention, like the opposition who have been doing demonstration to force the government on the negotiation table on IEBC matters, they too want to be addressed”, it is not obviously clear what they want addressed but the main concern seems to be the extension of the school closing dates.
The student’s opinions seem to concur with some education experts and stake holders. The secretary General of KNUT Mr. Sossion wants the government to close the schools a week before thus on 5th August 2016 as opposed to 12th August 2016 to avoid further Schools unrest, this view is being held by his counterpart in KUPPET. Stake holders in the ministry have stood their ground arguing that all current changes in schools calendar were negotiated and agreed upon. Hence no reason to change any of the new rules introduced recently to curb exam cheating in schools. Other reasons were cited for Schools unrest. The cabinet secretary of Education argued that Schools unrest had started long before the new rules had been effected.
My Take on Schools unrest,
My personal take and opinion on Schools unrest differ sharply from those given by the students and the stake holders.
Why would Ministerial order to curb Exam Cheating cause Schools unrest? Many people have cited the directives to curb exam cheating as the main reason for Schools unrest. In the last few years exam cheating has been on the rise and more schools have been involved, this has led to the cancellation of grades of students and in some case the entire school this was a worrying trend and that is why the minister come up with the strident measures. The question that begs answer is how will Schools unrest make the minister rescind his decision, are the students saying they should be allowed to cheat in their examinations?
It is a painful fact for me to discover that the current crop of student is lazy and lack enthusiasm to study and perform and they would rather shamelessly cheat in exams than study for them. This lack of motivation on part of our student is quite disheartening. No wonder they would have the audacity to cite this as a reason to Students unrest. Other ministerial directives cannot be used as a reason for Schools unrest as they were meant to curb a National disaster, “Exam Cheating”
Other reason cited for Schools unrest like increased school fees, and those to do with the school administration are weak and cannot stand the test of time. Parents are usually advised on issues to do with fees structure, unless they themselves are inciting their sons and daughters to Schools unrest, i fail to see how the students will reverse such decision, they usually make matters worse as the parents will not only pay the higher fees but will meet the cost of damage to school property.
Other cited reason for Schools unrest in my opinion are catalyst and not the main reasons, arguments of absentee principals, teachers, Entertainment etc are arguments that catapult the Schools unrest after a period of discordance.
Politics and Parenting are main reason for Schools unrest.
Currently in Kenya we have politics of defiance. No presidential order, or ministerial order goes unchallenged and it always appears that we have more than one force leading. One student cited the violent demonstration by the opposition to force the government on issues as an admirable trend. What is not clear is why the students have picked the trend and they are not advocating for any common stand, all that can be said is that they want attention which no one understands what for. This may lead us to our second argument, Parenting.
How can Parenting lead to Schools unrest?. Students go on the rampage as a means to force the school administration to close the institutions and thereby send students home. It is an emerging fact that most of the children today would rather stay home than go to school and hence Schools unrest to be asked to go home. So what is at home that the children miss so much?
Parenting today has changed from what it was in the past and the home has become too comfortable with all types of gadgets and toys for the children. Play station, DSTV, DVD Player, TV soaps, 3G&4G touch phones, in house parties, just but to name a few, this things that parents have paid for dearly may be the cause of Schools unrest. These are the things the student miss most while at school not to mention the food on demand that they get at home.
In other words the students are looking for whatever reason to be home and not in school. If you were to interview the older generation, all would have preferred school to home, after all it is in school that most of them saw a TV for the first time. Today parent is economically endowed and this has led to confusion in the minds of the young who think they share in their parents achievements. How parents will reverse this confusion and put students on the right truck remains to be seen as a lot of damage is already done.
In my opinion we should stop beating about the bush and look at parenting as a solution to end Schools unrest.