The burning down of High Schools so much reminds me of Orange Is The New Black. The voiceless trying to retaliate. This is never pretty as they often go for destruction.
In season 4, the inmates of Litchfield Prison take the unprecedented route of rioting after the murder of Poussey Washington by one of the guards. That particular occurrence becomes the climax of oppression. People can survive anger, depression, sickness, but the worst that could happen is death.
Poussey is murdered amidst dire oppression of the inmates. Remember how the inmate Flores gets punished to stand on a table without food or bathroom breaks for days? Then Piper is made to join her for attempting to give her food? Or how inmate Sofia, played by Laverne Cox, is taken to SHU (Segregated Housing Unit) then max for no good reason? Oh. And how Maritza is made to eat a live baby mouse by this crazy guard, simply because he could?
Well, yes the inmates too could get crazy, but who said the guards are saints and always act in a reasonable manner?
Now back to the Kenyan High Schools lately making headlines for being set ablaze by the students. Just like in Litchfield, they too put on uniforms, are stuck to the same routine daily for their four-year sentence, look forward to going back to the outside and are under constant supervision of guards/teachers.
It is terrible when the teachers are assumed to be the ones capable of knowing what is best for the students better than themselves. These students have the intelligence to mobilise the willing and unwilling for an arson, yet they are still left out of the negotiation table. They are quickly dismissed as undisciplined and now have to get arrested with criminal records that will glare at them on their Certificates of Good Conduct in future.
They are afraid of the mock exams and just want to watch the World Cup, it is said. Because of this high rate of indiscipline, they will sit exams even if it is under trees according to Knec chair Prof. George Magoha.
See, the inmates of Litchfield decried the need for Cheetos on their menu. This however was amidst grievances such as: good education to the inmates, humane treatment, better food and justice for Poussey.
Has anyone asked these students what they want? I guess not. Because they are very indiscipline and all they need to know is that there is no room for such.
If you ask me, even the fear of exams itself is a problem ought to be looked into. Reminds me of this meme that really made sense.
The student fails, and they are all alone in the blame. They pass, and suddenly its thanks to the teacher as well. The same teacher who taught both.
The bigotry among the stakeholders, assuming that the problem comes from unruly students has made this a recurrent problem. Last year saw over 100 schools, so far are 42 schools this year, and it is going to recur if they keep being sidelined in solving this problem.
By Linda Ngari