BACK TO SCHOOL SEASON

Why state insists on education for all

It is easier to govern educated people

In Summary
  • If the government was not interested in educating its people to control them, then educated but jobless youth would be receiving a monthly stipend as compensation.
  • We would also be having courses such as Bachelor of Comedy, Bachelor of Make-up and modelling, etc, to help poor children escape poverty.
Class in session.
NO FACILITIES: Class in session.
Image: FILE

January is the season when schools reopen in Kenya. Even as families and communities struggle to educate their children, they must realise that education in Kenya is for the rich.

Just several weeks ago a 13-year-old child who scored 391 out of 500 marks in KCPE contemplated committing suicide and even wrote a suicide note. The girl had been admitted to Asumbi Girls High School but her parents could not afford the required Sh53,544 fee.

At university, Helb gives students a maximum of Sh60,000 per academic year (Sh30,000 for each semester). Out of the Sh30,000, Sh4,000 is sent directly to the university as fees. The Sh26,000 is wired to the student’s account. Mind you we have ignored bank charges. If the student is government-sponsored, the total tuition fees s/he is required to pay is about Sh16,000. The student pays Sh12,000 to clear the outstanding tuition fee balance.

 
 
 

S/he is then left with Sh14,000 for their needs. A university semester is three to four months long. If our student is paying for rent outside the university, definitely s/he is in a financial quagmire. This is because the student has other competing needs such as food, clothes and printing assignments.

Rent varies. In Nairobi, a decent bedsitter may cost Sh6,500 per month. This is excluding electricity and water charges, and fare to and fro campus. The Sh14,000 is clearly not enough. How can such a student afford to put aside a few coins to buy a book? If this student decides to run a part-time business, his/her academic life will suffer.

BACKGROUND

If you are not from a generally well off background education may not be a wise option. The government is only interested in you being educated because it is easier to lord over you when there is some education between your ears.

In Nairobi most prominent bookshops are located in the more prestigious streets, frequented by the middle and upper classes. Only members of these classes can afford to read for leisure. The less prestigious streets, which are littered with garbage and congested with hawkers, only host stores that sell curriculum books. Only the lower class frequents here and only buy books because they are a requirement in school.

JM Kariuki said, “Kenya has become a nation of 10 millionaires and 10 million beggars”. I dare say Kenya is now a country of 400 billionaires and 40 million beggars.

But why does the government insist people go to school yet it knows all too well that only those from rich backgrounds can comfortably afford it? The truth is that education is an important tool of governance and control. It is easier to govern educated people than uneducated ones.

If the government was not interested in educating its people to control them, then educated but jobless youth would be receiving a monthly stipend as compensation. We would also be having courses such as Bachelor of Comedy, Bachelor of Make-up and modelling, etc, to help poor children escape poverty.

If you are not from a generally well off background education may not be a wise option. The government is only interested in you being educated because it is easier to lord over you when there is some education between your ears.

 

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