Tuesday, 29 July 2008

School Strikes: All Books & No Play?

For the last couple of weeks, the country has had to grasp with rowdy students burning and destroying structures in their schools. A columnist in the Daily Nation noted that the youths have developed a peculiar habit of burning the dormitories which would serve as the most private of places for students residing in schools-but that’s besides the point.
A principal of one of Kenya’s national school noted that it’s compulsory for students in the school to engage in games. Of course he has been at this for over 15 years so it’s not just idle talk. ON that I concur with him and ask various institutions to make sports and games compulsory-not just for going through the motions and running in some shadowy tracks around the neighbouring village.
I’m reminded of my high school days when we used to read about English higher learning institutions engaging in competitive games such as football, boat-rowing, rugby and cricket and developing rivalries which became legendary in those places e.g. Oxford & Cambridge for boat rowing or Syracuse University vs. Georgetown in basketball and college American football.
Locally I can recall some institutions such as Lenana vs. Nairobi School in the rugby circles but those are days gone by as school boys have engaged in non-curricular activities such video games (PlayStation’s a main culprit here), lousy outdoor and basically couch potatoes thanks to the numerous TV shows around !
The authorities and policy makers ought to rethink part of the syllabus which emphasizes on the need for one to pass their exams at the expense of outdoor activities. That way we can save our youth and get them to channel energies to more constructive activities. Could it be the reason why we are trooping into social circles to watch football instead of being the teams and fans out at the stadiums?

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