Boarding schools have outlived their usefulness, let’s abolish them

Boarding schools have outlived their usefulness, let's abolish them
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Boarding schools are a scam.

Boarding schools are a colonial legacy and their establishment, existence and operation in Kenya is a painful reminder of the British colonial legacy.

Like in Britain, they were breeding grounds for bullying, allowed parents to shirk their responsibilities, and when our education system became so examinations oriented, boarding schools and academies became breeding grounds of unthinking citizens whose only concern are papers.

Right now, they are antiquated, totally anachronistic.

Whereas they allowed students more time to study, moulded them into young impressionable adults, but the world has changed so much and our education system has undergone tremendous changes that boarding schools hardly meet the needs of students.

Since the government started funding primary schools and subsidizing secondary education, we should have started rethinking the boarding schools model.

Some argue that boarding schools come with few distractions, help keep students safe (increasingly a shallow argument as school fires and terrorists attack have become an existential nightmare, let alone the rapists lurking in the dark).

Boarding schools are a security hazard. There are more than 100 ways to make them safer, but no school administration or even the government is willing to make requisite adjustments.

We should abolish boarding schools. They encourage the class system that is the bane of our existence. The chronic corruption in the country has to do with some thinking they deserve more and better than others. Something boarding schools cultivate.

School fires have become an annual ritual. The fires are as a result of truancy, fights between communities and churches on who control the school resources and ego wars between school heads and their deputies. Boarding schools encourage perverted behaviors. Lesbianism and homosexuality, bullying, rape culture are things as a society we turn a blind eye to.

Don’t even get me started on meals served to students. Prisoners eat better than an average provincial school in Kenya.

The reason why most students have not dropped dead is that God is merciful. My billion-dollar question is why should parents and the government pay a lot of money only for their children to be feed like rabbits. A meal of badly cooked githeri and badly chopped and cooked Sukuma wiki and cabbages is a meal that befits a rabbit. Even pet dogs and cats feed better than our future leaders in schools.

Before we argue feebly that secondary schools help improve performance, we should have our eyes on low grades from boarding schools. We should not forget schools where heads are ceremonial and do very little or nothing towards improving performance. All they do is roam in and out of schools like airplanes landing and taking off at an airport.

We should abolish boarding schools. They encourage the class system that is the bane of our existence. The chronic corruption in the country has to do with some thinking they deserve more and better than others. Something boarding schools cultivate.

Let students eat healthy at home. Let students sleep safely and sound at home. Let parents also ask students if they have their homework done or not. Let parents also take a share of the blame on how students perform. Let everyone do their jobs.

Boarding schools are a rip-off and if we abolish them, we will do away with kleptocrats who are becoming increasingly too entitled to school resources.

The only thing that needs to be our concern is how students will make it to school. Every school can have a school bus to ferry students to and from school. In case students prefer a school far from home, boarding facilities can be privatized. Let the private sector provide hostels to accommodate students. In all this, our overprotectiveness will come to an end. Let our high school children be free and learn to be street smart. The idea of having girls and boys enclosed as though they are training to be Catholic nuns and priests is sickening.

But with all our efforts, we can see the smoke in schools. And that’s enough to make us rethink and go the day school way.

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Education

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