He was staring at his son’s report form, wondering why each and every time his 14 year old was always the last in his class, or second last. He had tried to tell his son to bury himself in books, never allowed him out to go outside and play, never allowed him to watch the television, but each time his remedy for good results did not work on his son.
‘Son why are you always the last in your class? Why don’t your results change with every new term? What is it that I am not giving you, because I can always sacrifice a lot more to ensure that you have good grades?
‘Father, I try to read, I try to work hard, and ensure that I do my homework and revise it, but I never pass. But you see dad, if everyone else is always the first in class, then who will do blue collar jobs, who will dig toilets, and build houses? Everyone else will be busy in glass offices or being doctors somewhere, so maybe that’s my fate, to do odd jobs?’
The father was shocked beyond words, since when did a 14 year old child start having shallow dreams, every other child is dreaming of great jobs, but mine has no focus at all, and he is only 14 years. The father just sat there trying to figure out the best counseling he can buy to help his ‘lost’ son.
Nairobi University Wins Universities’ Race For Top Brains In The Country, this was a headline a while back in the daily’s for the students who had the best grades in the past Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE). The crème dela crème of these students want to venture in the world of medicine, engineering, Acturial science, basically the world of sciences. We are all talking about the VISION 2030 who else to invest in this other than these young people? The fresh blood of focused innovators, who many will concur with me will drop kick human labor into an industrial revolution. The overall performance in high school, once the results are announced is kept alive by legions of writers and reporters in the media, and every other student will want to venture in the world of science, for prestige. Most students care about the idea than the practical exploitation of the prestigious courses. Why?
Over the past few weeks we have seen how strikes have been on the rise, and it got me thinking, how come most scholars, people who have stayed in school for years, people with a couple of degrees and doctorates to their names, are the ones who are the most underpaid in Kenya! This may come out as arrogant and plain mean but I just have to ask… why do students with the best grades opt to venture into courses which will take them more than five years to study, go for internship for one whole year then maybe go back to school so that they can be better placed for the job markets in the country, while students with average or better yet low grades end up in the world of business or art, and in no time make it in this world, and at times, in fact most times end up being employers to these students who schooled for more than six years? I said it would sound arrogant. I have witnessed students who were overwhelmed with the whole idea of studying the so ‘prestigious’ courses drop out of school to venture into something ‘simpler’ or complain of misplaced priorities when it came to choosing courses. Such students are drifted into a relative obscurity, while people who venture in other career courses are lauded as achievers.
Growing up everyone in my class, from kindergarten to high school wanted to be a doctor, lawyer, engineer, surgeon, neurosurgeon, pilot etc, having all this dreams is a good thing, working your ass off towards achieving the necessary results needed to venture in these careers is in fact a plus, who doesn’t want a genius in their homes or in their society? But here comes the disadvantage, in my opinion I have come to realize that in Kenya, having many degrees and living in school is not what will make you prosper or successful, our doctors and lecturers who are considered as one of the most important people in our society are busy holding talks with the government so that they can have an increase in their salaries, I wonder will this strikes ever end, I mean in my life time? Why hustle to go study in such courses and end up carrying vuvuzela’s in the streets demanding for the government to recognize your efforts in the society?
Some of us are busy furthering our studies , to get our masters degree, ironical how we love to dig in books, and have certificates, yet those who have no interest in furthering their education are busy making it, they are our employers, they are sole providers for business machinery in big companies. Sad. What would account to such a significant disparity in performance of the gold rush in the job market, even with land slide better certificates for the scholars? It is enough to justify a measure of adulation for these prestigious courses, because not all of them end up struggling in the economy as penniless reclusive beings.
The mapped idea in the brains of young ones over the ideology gleamed from a series of successful people in the world of science and technology, is a good step to making this country a better one, but I think this young ones should choose wisely not for the prestige.
Everyone has a dream, some misplaced, and some in check with the current trends of the society. The world needs innovators, so does it need plumbers, constructors etc, no matter how ‘stupid’ the son was to his father in spelling out his thoughts and view of the world, he was right… maybe its about the money, but truth be told it sounds galling but it’s just how the world is, some win some loose, no matter how it goes we are in a chain of building the society, from all angles of achievements.
In her book ‘The Art of Choosing’ Sheena Iyengar quotes ‘If choice is about possibility, then it’s also about responsibility. When YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go, you had better read the map carefully and travel all the right roads’. Be wise!