Thursday, March 26, 2009

Of Education and Social Responsibility

I was watching 'Making of a Nation' program on NTV the other day. This time they focused a lot on the development of education in Kenya and one man called Carey Francis was richly featured. Carey Francis was the legendary maths teacher who also penned several text books that were used in East Africa for a long time in the early years of our nation. Also featured prominently was Alliance High School where Mr. Francis was teaching.

It was a very good program. Quite uplifting and also humbling. One thing that I found quite humbling was that at one time, Kenya had about 1600 students finishing form four and seeking places in high school. That was a crisis at the time!

On the other side though, I could not help but wonder what the real success of Alliance has been. Yes the commentator went on mentioning the who is who in Kenya as having been educated at Alliance. The few names I could remember were Kanyotu, Amos Wako, Njonjo, Festus Olang etc. For each big name dropped by the commentator, I could not find any great achievement or contribution to the Kenyan republic apart from corruption and planting seeds of tribalism in our nation. And it got me worried. That these big names came from such a prestigious institution, went on to study at Makerere and then came back to destroy our nation through mismanagement, sleaze and tribalism. It made me ask myself the same question Kodhek my good friend used to bother me with. What is the real raison d'etre of a school. Is it supposed to only make you a good scientist or doctor or nurse or leader? Or should the school also shape you into a socially and morally responsible adult? Shouldn't there be a difference that when you are trained in a certain institution, that you have certain enduring principles, qualities and temperament other than the school leaving certificate and alumni membership? And when the school has an alumni, shouldn't members have a way of striking you off the register and disowning you for soiling the name of the institution? From the list that was being read by the commentator last Sunday, it was as if one of the traits taught at Alliance was corruption, tribalism and social mediocrity.

Be that as it may. When is the rain planning to fall on our beloved country? It has become unbearably hot, food is scarce, taps are dry and dust threatens to cover us on the streets. Aren't there some good lawyers out there somewhere to sue someone for sleeping on the job and not sending the rain on time? You can even throw in breach of contract


  1. I saw the documentary as well and I thoroughly enjoyed it as well. The old boys are certainly not living Carey Francis' dream.

    Big jobs with nothing much to show for it...I agree!!

    Amos Wako is a big failure and so was Njonjo (Mr. imagining the death of the president is a treasonable offence).

    I hear you about the rain! This sun will kill me...and if doesn't the dehydration will. Let's not even talk about the dust...Like Marende said yesterday, we need to pray for this country, especially for rain.

  2. You are becoming so philosophical these days OD. Or maybe I haven't followed your blog from day 1.
    I'm really worried about the rains too. Maybe we should start irrigation agriculture?

  3. @mama, Very true the old man must be turning in his grave

    @pkw, he he, hadn't realized it.

  4. They've failed to protect the Mau and they've killed all the rain makers in Kisii. I guess we have to wait a little longer. But the situation is bad for sure.

    Mama when some of these people ask us to pray, I feel like it's an insult.

  5. Thats just the conversation we had on the day Nation advertised about 'Makers of A Nation'. Am sure that if Carey Francis arose today, he would deny these charlatans and all they stand for!

  6. If you don't trees as you cut them, eventually nature has to pay back in coin unfortunately. Anyway, I understand it was raining jana.


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