Kenya exams - parents attack teachers

2012-01-05 22:37

Nairobi - The chair of the Kenyan teachers' union says angry parents are attacking teachers nationwide after their children's dismal performance in a national exam.

Wilson Sossion of the Kenya National Union of Teachers said Thursday that rioting parents have forcefully closed at least 10 primary schools. They are angry that their children failed national exams that determine if the children get into high school.

Sossion says the union is investigating the death of a head teacher from a school in Narok, a town in central Kenya. The man is believed to have committed suicide after the results of all 38 students from his school were cancelled over allegations of cheating.

Government statistics show that more than half the 760 000 children who sat the examination last year may not go to high school.

  • Silvana - 2012-01-06 06:22

    Shouldn't the kids' reports during the year flash warning signs to the parents that the kids are not going to make it? Or were those fudged as well. What a joke. And on that note, it is prudent for me to zip my lip!

  • Lyndatjie - 2012-01-06 07:10

    50% failed rate for 7 graders? Good heavens - I would ALSO go after them with a frigging frying pan. What on earth have the teachers been doing the whole year? Why weren't these kids monitored? You can't tell me that 50% fail is a shock to ANY of them? On the other hand though I also blame the stupid parents! Why aren't they more involved in the progress of their kids at school? They can't possibly abdicate all their damn responsibilities as parents to the teachers. Disgraceful situation!

      Eugene - 2012-01-06 07:23

      Lyndatjie: In my experience as teacher, a good 50% of grade sevens SHOULD fail. It is much better that they fail grade 7, repeat it and then move on than that they are passed for political rather than academic reasons, and then fail matric, or get a matric certificate that isn't worth the paper it is printed on. And yes, it is time for parents to realize that THEY, and no one else, are responsible for the education of their children. The school is at best an aid. How that aid is used depends entirely on parents, because it is in the parental home, NOT the school, where children learn such fundamental skills as a simple work ethic. If they don't learn this from parents, they'll never learn it, and there is nothing the school can do about that. The very fact that in this case the parents only realized there was a problem at the end of the year tells you all you need to know about how involved they are in their children's lives and education. They simply have no leg to stand on: Africa's biggest scourge seems to be the way in which its people completely abdicate their own responsibilities to the state.

      Lyndatjie - 2012-01-06 07:54

      I'm in total accord with you Eugene.... I have however been sitting here thinking about the parents themselves. Are we perhaps not facing a situation where most of the parents themselves are unschooled and unable to assist the kids? In that case - then there should be more assistance and guidance again from the school - not so? I'm starting to wonder if we are not looking at this with blinkers on and with our own set of values and experiences. We are obviously both educated and able to read and write... but what would have happened to both of us and our kids if we didn't have an educational base to build on? Then I'm going to throw this back at the state? If it is a case of uneducated parents - then surely THEY should have trained their teachers to spot this and work within these limitations. The more I think of it - it should be a working relationship with the parents, the teachers AND the state heavily involved. That is to say if they are truly interested in fixing this. If not - then they basically ignored it and wished the problem away - which is why the parents are angry and frustrated. My word - whichever way we look at it - it’s a mess! If they don't find a solution quickly - this is just going to get worse. I wish them luck and wisdom in resolving this... :(

  • ludlowdj - 2012-01-06 08:26

    Typical African continent response, attack the teacher because your child is a loser. No one can point a finger at any teacher unless that teacher has been proven to be incompetent, and a 50% fail rate is not an indication of teacher failure it is a sign of student failure. These parents would do better to beat their kids instead.

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