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No child is a failure, many pathways to success exist



No child is a failure, many pathways to success exist

In the recent past, a video clip of a young, forlorn-looking and pitiful girl lamenting about her KCSE results trended on social media.

The girl said that after much hard work and sacrifice, she was disappointed to get a grade of C, which is below C-plus (C+), the entry point to the university in Kenya. In a nutshell, she had ‘failed’. 

She continued to talk about how the disappointing results traumatised her, even leading to suicidal thoughts. Luckily, in a good turn of events, a follow-up video came of the same girl looking and sounding happier, more relaxed and energised. But the main point was not lost.

The sentiments expressed by the girl represent the cry and agony that many young people go through during and after the national examinations. They are a cry for intervention for the many who may not have the opportunity to air their views. For while a few of the candidates are carried shoulder-high and celebrated for scoring As in the exam, the majority are simply forgotten, ignored, and cast away as those who ‘failed’.

Change narrative

The new Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC) must come in boldly to change this narrative. We must have a value-based education system that positively acknowledges diverse performances—because every student who has made an effort should be acknowledged and encouraged. And parents must be there for their children, irrespective of the grade they get.

Society should acknowledge those who score As and Bs and go on to join universities. Equally, society must acknowledge those who get Cs and Ds, for they, too, can join other pathways of learning and trades and turn out into great citizens of the world.

They, too, can make a meaningful, fulfilling contribution to society and, indeed, many examples abound. 

Getting a university grade is good but it is not the only path to making it in life.

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