Are Private Schools Crippling The Stature Of Historical National Giants?


Over the last five years the historical National schools have been marred by a series of incidences. From tales of bullying, arson, rape cases to a myriad of unusual happenings within the school set up.

Parents have opted to take their children to private schools which cost more tuition fees per year but at least give them a sense of security when it comes to their children’s safety.

The government free secondary school initiative is not helping the situation as the subsidy increases the school enrollment stretching the resources to a maximum. The private school on the other hand children get maximum attention from teachers and even have a chance of getting involved in the learning process rather the historic taking of notes as references.

Read: Moi Girls School Closed For One Week To Allow Investigation On Rape Allegations

In the past the private school menace had eroded the integrity of public primary schools as parents opted to take their children to private schools to ensure they had a chance of going into the prestigious secondary schools . Parents  from public schools said that those children should go to private schools as the competition created was high but with an unfair playing field. This culture however is slowly dissipating.

Between 2013 to 2017 the number of private primary schools almost doubled and the number of private secondaries rose by half. The prospects are good because governments are not satisfying the rising demand for good education.

So severe are the consequences for this shift that even the champions teachers in the public sector take their children to the private school, even they do not trust the system .

The government should put into consideration the implications of free secondary education, which has left most public schools overpopulated. Consequently, this has diluted the quality of education with interactive education remaining a dream.

Is the quest to get everyone in school crippling the quality of education in the country? Is it placing poor Kenyans at an unfair advantage in comparison to those who can afford Public schools?

In an article published by the Economist, it shows that most parents do want their children to go through the harrowing experience in public schools. They take their children to elite private schools to shun what they went through. Others who cannot afford private schools remain in public schools with overstretched resources, for lack of an option.

Duncan Olumbe, an Alliance alumnus quoted by the publication, decided that his son Roy should not follow him to his old school. Roy was put off by the stories of bullying.

Mr Olumbe and his wife liked the ways of Nova Pioneer and thought that “the transition from a private primary to an overcrowded [state secondary] may be a bit difficult.”

The children of Wilson Sossion, the vocal Kenya Union of Teachers (Knut) Secretary General, attend a private School, the Brookhouse, which charges Ksh1 million a year.

He is not alone as most top government officials have their children learning in private schools.

In 1994, owners in the then well-established private schools in Nairobi and other parts of the country came together to form the Kenya Private Schools Association (KPSA). Their aim was to provide an interactive and constructive forum for investors in education were they network, bench mark, share experiences and best management practices in Education, according to information in their website. Currently the association is represented in 38 county branches across the country.

On the other hand, public schools thrive on the expertise of their present leadership, how connected they are to who-is-who in the government and the financial muscle of the parents therein.

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Written by Merxcine Cush

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