Quality Education Transforms Lives: A young man tells his story
Sustainable Development Goal 4 is set to ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning.
It is evident that quality education holds the potential to transform lives and the world at large. The issue is how to increase access to quality education in impoverished and developing countries.
Dorn Anaclet from Kibera, Kenya tells his story about how education transformed his life and opened opportunities for him:
Born to one of the poorest families ever in the western parts of Kenya, I lost my father at an early age (3 years old) and like anyone’s guess, life was very difficult. Born in October 1992, my father passed away just three years later.
I started my education at a village school, one that lacked a lot of basic necessities of a school – Pupils to teacher ratio was too big, no water, dusty compounds. Health complications was the order of the day.
Fortunately, I was a great performer in school. I sat the Kenya certificate of Primary education in 2005 and passed well, earning a call to a county school. Unfortunately, I lost my mother the same year, there was no school fees and as such had to repeat class eight, sitting for the exams for the second time in the year 2006. I joined high school in 2007 through a scholarship from the local NGO, sitting KCSE exams in 2010 where I scored a mean grade of A-minus. In 2012, I joined the University of Nairobi pursuing a degree in Arts (a double major in Economics and Sociology) where I graduated in late 2016.
Since graduating, I have been involved in many life changing programs in different parts of Kenya especially in the Slums, ranging from motivational talks to school going kids and parents who still doubt the importance of their children getting quality education. Moreover, with lack of basic education, mostly in the remote parts of the country, old life threatening practices such as the female genital mutilation and Gender Based Violence are still common practices. I have taken a lot of time on volunteer basis to advocate for quality education for all as one of the major way to societal transformation.
Mine is part of a wider story a son of a poor man whose life has been transformed through quality education. Life’s been very unkind. The education structure of the country hasn’t done many any favours either. Poverty has been the main hindrance to many Africans achieving quality education, with division of schools based on whether a school is private or public school heightening further the difference in quality. With this inequality (yet the exams are the same for all the student regardless of the type of school) does not bode well for the future of the Kenyan education.
In conclusion, I recommend that the education system in Kenya still needs radicle changes if quality is to be achieved. Firstly, the curriculum needs to be reviewed regularly to be more transformative and less paper oriented. Secondly, the 8-4-4 system is run out of time and a new system (such as the proposed 6-6-4) should be implemented as it’s currently less technical and less innovative.
Finally, quality education is still a long way to being achieved in Kenya, but it’s a possibility. All stakeholders need to be on board for this to happen. Government, parents, students, Non-governmental Organizations and any other concerned persons should play a vital part to ensure the success of quality education. It is all of us’ responsibility.