The selection of pupils to Form One has stirred dissatisfaction among many KCPE candidates. Many have been selected to schools that they did not want. The complaints are not only with students but also parents. Many are spilling their tears on social media platforms about the faraway schools that their children have been posted. They are lamenting about the transport costs involved, among other issues.
The criteria used in the selection was not just performance-based. Students were posted to schools away from their regions in order to expose them to other regions and communities to enhance national cohesion and integration.
Most students had chosen the original national secondary schools in Kenya. These are the likes of Alliance High School, Kenya High School and Nairobi School, among others. However, as Mr Nicholas Maiyo, the chairman of National Parents Association said, we cannot all fit in Nairobi School, for example. There is nothing special about these schools, anyway. The only reason for their prominence is the fact that they existed before the others, when either you were in those schools or tilling land for colonialists.
Speaking on the financial future of the American youth in the Nebraska forum, Warren Buffett said: “You can take a course in any university. An accounting course, for example, is the same across all universities. What is being taught in Harvard is similar in all other universities.” This also applies to the secondary education in Kenya. “What is being taught in Alliance or Kenya High is what is being taught in every other school.”
Students and Kenyans in general have to stop idolising these national schools. Times have changed. In fact, community schools have more to offer. They seem to empower students with more survival tactics and social skills compared to their elite counterparts. This, in my opinion, is what matters most.
This is why students from these ordinary schools have currently dominated almost every field. They are the movers and shakers of our generation. The Deputy President, William Ruto, attended Kapsabet Boys. This is not among the pioneer elite national schools.
Dr Purity Ngina, the youngest PhD holder in Kenya, attended Tumu Tumu Girls High School. The list is endless. Our students ought to understand that no one cares which school you attended. All that matters is your ability to survive in this disorderly society that we live in, by creating order from an individual level.
FANON KIHU is an economist, Kenyatta University.