I am now in campus pursuing a degree.My parents are really proud.I think they are among a multitude of “proud parents” who have no idea of what their children went through back then in high school unless they sent them to Ivy League school, Brook house,St.Andrews Turi, International school of Kenya and other high end schools in the country (at least the school fees paid in these schools assures one of a comfortable stay in school).
As for the rest of the larger population many teenagers have to wake up at four a.m, shower with cold water, scramble for hot porridge without an escort, mock the dining hall captain, go wash restrooms and slabs in accomplishment of their duties and even get a punishment from the teacher on duty if you entered the classroom late. Quite tough but good memories are still made in the midst of this semi juvenile setting.
Memories of fantasizing about the handsome boys we saw during the functions, nicknaming teachers and even hiding earrings under our neckties so that we would wear them to functions.They are quite endless.
We went through the motions of the strict life where even hairstyles and foodstuffs were all regulated by the school.However, there is a restriction that really bothered me and everyone else when I was in high school and it was the school leave out.The criteria for allowing people to leave school apart from the specific occasions (e.g. functions a.k.a funkies, mid term breaks etc) is quite jeopardizing.
Students die in schools because they cannot be allowed to “fall behind” in the syllabus or they are deemed not to be “sick enough” by the school nurses and sent back to class with some painkillers so as to keep them in school and ensure that they are working hard. Some students suffer from depression and when they ask for a leave outs they are quickly dismissed by demeaning statements such ‘mtoto mkenya hawezi kuwa na magonjwa ya mzungu'( A Kenyan child cannot suffer from a White man’s disease).The same students just carry heavily scarred thighs and wrists to university in memory of their self harm back in high school but if granted the leave , they would have received treatment and healing.
I think these deaths attached to ignorance and professional malpractice of high school nurses should not be heard of again in Kenya.If a student is sick let the student go home because a dead student cannot join the university neither can they “raise the school mean’ or “top in KCSE’.Lets not put education ahead of our own dear lives.Things got to change so that not another parent shall shed a tear on a child’s grave because of a school’s misgiving and adherence to jeopardizing strict rules.
I love my brothers and sisters in Kenyan high schools.I think they deserve treatment when need be. Don’t they?