Kenya: Proposed School Syllabus Doomed

Kenya Academy of Sports was formed to replace the National Youth Talent Academy, which is based at Safaricom Stadium Kasarani. However, some of us have never known what this academy does.

The government through the Sports Cabinet Secretary, Dr Hassan Wario, wants the body to ensure that a curriculum incorporating talent development in education is completed as soon as possible.

The curriculum shall be taken to all schools in the country in a bid to promote talent among our youth. That is the sticky part.

Schools in Kenya, as they are constituted, are basically meant to for academic excellence. We have schools that don’t even allow Physical Education on their timetables. Students are cooped up in classrooms all through the week, including on Sunday evening!

We have many schools that do not take part in any co-curricular activities. Whenever they are forced to do so by the ministry, they haphazardly assemble a team which gets eliminated in the first round so that they get the students back to class to cram and engage in rote learning.

These schools neither perform well in sports, music, art or even the academics that they insist on.

These schools are boring prisons and their dullness bears on the students who will always find a way to vent out. This could breed rebellious behaviour leading such criminal behaviour such as the wave of school fires that have engulfed the nation.

The students seem to want out and the pent up energy is unleashed in violent emotions.

There is also another cadre of schools that have no space at all! They have no sports grounds or even decent halls for extra-curricular activities such as drama. This is the case with most of the so-called academies that are run privately.

HOSTS A POPULAR BAR

Some are located right in the central business district and I know of one that is situated on the first floor of building that also hosts a popular bar. Patrons drink beer and smoke at the pub beneath the school, oblivious of the social ills they are exposing the students to.

This is the reason I support the call by the Sports Cabinet Secretary for the introduction of a curriculum that incorporates talent development.

We must, however, tell the CS that it will never be easy to do so. In fact, this plan may never see the light of day! In this country, great ideas are mooted every day but implementing them is left to people averse to change. We don’t have a habit of asking the people on the ground how best to approach such a task.

A good example is the task force recently formed by Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i to find out why there is so much unrest in schools, which has led to loss of property worth millions to arson.

The taskforce, though well meaning, does not have a single teacher on board. Yet it is the teachers who spend a lot of time with the students. Dr Wario will have the same problem with the curriculum.

The team spearheading changes in the curriculum lacks teachers. In the end the document will be unveiled and the excluded teachers will be required to implement it.

The CS opined that we may have a problem with management but not talent. That is spot on! Who shall manage this incorporation of talent development in education?

Source: The Nation.