VALUE FOR MONEY

KCPE aside, private schools still way better than public

In Summary
  • Some of the leading captains of our industries are proud alumni of private schools
  • Our very own president is a product of private schools
Parents protest closure of eight private primary schools in Lamu.
Parents protest closure of eight private primary schools in Lamu.
Image: CHETI PRAXIDES

Even public school teachers enrol their children in private schools and one can understand why—they preach water and drink wine.

With or without good KCPE results, private schools remain attractive to parents wishing to bequeath their children decency and posterity. KCPE results cannot be the only yardstick to measure the success and contribution of private schools.

Like any other private sector, private schools play a pivotal role in the development of this country and cannot therefore be wished away.

Private schools churn out globally competitive graduates who end up taking front seats nationally, regionally and globally. Some of the leading captains of our industries are proud alumni of private schools. Our very own president is a product of private schools. It goes without saying that private schools are not there to mint money from parents; they give value for money.

I am a product of public schools, having attended a public primary school, public secondary school and a public university. This was by default because of my humble background. If anybody asked me, I would have opted for a private primary school but I was enrolled in a remote public primary school. I did not have a choice.

In the early 80s when private schools started mushrooming, my father promised to take me to one if I topped in my class. I worked hard and topped the class but he never kept his word. Some of the brightest kids in my class were enrolled in the new schools. When we sat our KCPE, they scored better grades and were admitted to national schools as I proceeded to a local secondary school where, again, I was ‘wasted’ for four years.

I still feel that my eight years in public primary school were a waste. We were thrown there to survive. Our parents did not know any better. We did not have learning resources yet we sat the same national exam as our colleagues in well-equipped private schools.

I’m still convinced that if my father had taken me to a private school, I would have reaped more benefits. Colleagues who studied in private schools had better communication skills, wider world views, were more assertive, had deeper perspectives, were well-groomed and carried themselves with higher esteem as we spoke mother tongue-laden English.

It is the prayer of every parent to take their children to a private school. Those who are in public schools are there by default. Even public school teachers enrol their children in private schools and one can understand why—they preach water and drink wine.

Private school teachers work as hard as everybody else. Assertions that learners in private schools are spoon-fed are an excuse by the authorities to evade accountability. Nobody works harder than teachers in private schools because their jobs entirely depend on good performance. Public school teachers, whose jobs are permanent and pensionable, have a poor attitude.

Career teacher, runs Examinations Hub