What chance does that school have to inspire future scientists in their communities?
Most schools have no libraries within the school, in the village or in nearby towns. These are facilities that are crucial in helping nurture an enthusiastic child who may, otherwise, have never had the opportunity to access study materials due to poverty.
The film, The Boy who Harnessed the Wind (recommended for every school) is about an African child who found a way to save his village by building a wind turbine to provide water for his community during famine. His interest in the turbine was piqued by a book he found by chance at his lowly equipped library in his poorly built village school in Malawi.
It is mind-boggling to imagine how many such enthusiastic children lost out in life due to being let down by the education system and government policies that are geared less towards the poor.
One other issue worth considering, particularly in areas with a Muslim majority, is introduction of a faith-based school system. These are areas with one of the lowest literacy levels, worse among women.
Counties such as Garissa, Mandera, Wajir and pockets of the coastal region with higher Muslim populations could benefit from having schools built on their faith.
The idea is to have a hybrid system based on religious teachings and the national curriculum. The system is more reassuring to Muslim parents who are still unsure of mainstream schools for cultural reasons.
Schools built on the Christian faith have done very well in improving literacy levels. It is a template worth considering to boost the number of girls attending schools in communities that hinder girls’ education. The move could work towards improving socio-economic status of girls and women from conservative areas.
Not equipping or funding schools denies many youngsters a lifetime of opportunities. It’s worth noting that education is a fundamental right as stipulated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The current education system in Kenya creates inequality. There is a need to plan for a standardised education system that would consider all factors in order to create a level playing field.
The school environment, undoubtedly, plays a large part in shaping behavioural patterns and helps in creating quality human resource. It’s crucial, therefore, to ensure young people grow with the mindset that they are equal to their peers globally.
Ms Guyo is a legal researcher. email@example.com @kdiguyo