IDLE MINDS

Build, stock libraries to keep kids occupied

They encourage a reading culture, reflection, meditation and help boost self-esteem.

In Summary
  • The skewed distribution of functional libraries in Kenya needs to be urgently reviewed.
  • We should attempt to ensure every constituency has a functional library to fight some of these social ills.
Chris Mburu, the founder of Francophone Network of Kenya, showcases French books at a library he set up for Mitahato villagers to learn the language.
Chris Mburu, the founder of Francophone Network of Kenya, showcases French books at a library he set up for Mitahato villagers to learn the language.
Image: STANLEY NJENGA

Recent reports of missing teenagers are alarming. Licentious partying by students and pupils is on the rise. Society is ailing and immorality is thriving.

Urban dwellers are the worst hit. Usually, most children are left alone at home, with their parents engaged either in employment or business. The children are unsupervised with no substantial activity to keep them occupied, which encourages idle thoughts. Compound this situation with technology and peer pressure, and it is almost a given that Generation Z would deviate from the norm.

The Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development has tried to promote digital education through its EDU

channel. However, not every child has been able to access the channel. The Ministry of Education and the Teachers Service Commission tried to promote community learning but this bore no fruit.

Libraries can be the best remedy for this problem. These information centres are resourceful, well equipped and tailored for various needs.

For instance, they contain computers and stable internet. The children’s sections have personalised materials geared towards potential realisation and talent development.

Libraries encourage a reading culture, reflection, meditation and help boost children’s self-esteem. When adolescents meet in the study hubs, they are likely to discuss topics covered in class as well as any other interesting facts discovered in the books. 

The skewed distribution of functional libraries in Kenya needs to be urgently reviewed. We should attempt to ensure every constituency has a functional library to fight some of these social ills.