GRIM REALITY

Why E student is ultimate winner

‘A student’ is basically a photocopier...accurate in repeating what’s in textbooks

In Summary
  • The question is, do we really need what is in the books to be repeated, yet we can actually acquire the books in the bookshops?
  • For a student to score an A in KCSE, it means that they have an outstanding memory.
Candidates sit a past KCSE exam in a school in Garissa.
Candidates sit a past KCSE exam in a school in Garissa.
Image: FILE

In the KCSE exam results released just before Christmas, little was said about the students who scored E. These students are considered failures by our society.

For a student to score an A in KCSE, it means that they have an outstanding memory. They are generally good at remembering what they learnt in class and read in textbooks and recycling the same in the examination papers. The high school teachers may not be any better than the students.

One time in high school, a little-known school by the way, we were to go for an event in another school. The school had two buses: A newer modern Scania and an older one with peeling paint that resembled a loaf of bread.

To our disappointment, the teacher who was to accompany announced that we would take the old bus, which was an uncomfortable ride. He explained that the new bus had a problem with its brake system and needed to be checked by a mechanic.

One of the students asked our teacher, “Mr John, you are our physics teacher, you taught us about the hydraulic brake system. Why don’t we use this knowledge to repair the bus ourselves instead of calling a mechanic?”

Everyone broke into laughter, including Mr John, and that was it. We took the old bus. The knowledge acquired in high school seems to only be good when filling in examination papers. The ‘A student’ is basically a photocopier. This means that s/he is the most accurate in repeating what was written in the curriculum books.

The E student is reprimanded for scoring poorly right from a young age. All the while the ‘A student’ is praised. The ‘E student’ has learnt early in life how wicked, rough and brutal society is. This is as the ‘A student’ assumes that society will always be happy to see him/her succeed.

The question is, do we really need what is in the books to be repeated, yet we can actually acquire the books in the bookshops?

In my opinion, the student who gets it wrong in the exam is the one who has the most to offer. This is because they are writing ideas that are outside the curriculum books. These ideas, as silly as they may seem, can be developed to books. This knowledge can actually solve the problems amidst us that the existing knowledge has not solved yet. But society brands these students ‘E students’ or failures.

The E student is reprimanded for scoring poorly right from a young age. All the while the ‘A student’ is praised. The ‘E student’ has learnt early in life how wicked, rough and brutal society is. This is as the ‘A student’ assumes that society will always be happy to see him/her succeed.

The ‘A student’ enrols for a highly profiled course at the university. S/he wants to focus on developing his/her career. S/he toils tirelessly at the university and endures sleepless nights poring over books.

Meanwhile, the ‘E student’ who did not manage to join university or college start a roasted maize business on the roadside. Prominent people come to eat the roasted maize. The ‘E student’ overhears them talking about buying a piece of land. He remembers a rich man who came to eat the maize had mentioned that he is selling a piece of land.

Our ‘E student’ connects these two parties and gets a good commission out of the sale. Before you know it the ‘E student’ has used the money to buy himself land and has now built a hotel. He is now a hotel owner. By this time the ‘A student’ has graduated and is desperately looking for his ‘dream’ job. He actually finds himself going to seek a job at the company owned by the ‘E student’.

With this example in mind, it is quite easy to tell who will dominate the other in the long run.