Equip public schools to avoid aid-seeking pleas now popular

Number of top scorers seeking sponsorship every year after results growing

In Summary

• Few rich Kenyans cannot sponsor all the poor Kenyans to school or offer them job opportunities. 

• Providing similar necessary facilities will provide similar level of education in all public schools across the country. 

A collapsed latrine at a public primary school during the crackdown on schools with poor structures last year.
INEQUALITIES: A collapsed latrine at a public primary school during the crackdown on schools with poor structures last year.

Kenya’s economic performance has been described as dismal. This has been exposed by the growing number of top-scoring learners seeking to be sponsored to join secondary school due to lack of fees.

This comes even as the government is committed to realising 100 transition to secondary school. While every financially-endowed Kenyan is rushing to sponsor students whose plight have been highlighted in the media, it shouldn’t escape our attention that there are hundreds in interior parts of this country going through similar ordeals who can neither access traditional nor social media to air their predicament.

An economy weighed down by endemic corruption has ensured only the rich can access a decent education. In functional economies, public schools are funded by the state and accessible to anyone thirsty for an education.

They have similar facilities and no one waits for a sponsor to realise their academic dreams. But ours is a system where we treat some public schools as elite while others are condemned to hopelessness with no libraries and laboratories and teachers.

It is such systemic marginalisation that has resulted in the distasteful scramble for “top” schools and exam cheating, yet there’s a section that believes sponsorship is the cure. The rich man takes their children to academies, where the prospect of passing KCPE is a reality, which gives them the advantage to gain admission to the “elite” school, a sure bet for university education.

The poor child goes to a poorly-equipped public primary school many times dodging cattle rustlers and retrogressive traditional practices, joins a Harambee school with no teachers and other facilities and ends up not dreaming of another life beyond their village.



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