Bizarre Nature of our Kenyan Universities.

I am browsing the internet when my eye catches a glimpse of an article about one local university. News about local universities are not new in our newspapers but this is one of its own kind. It is about university students who are supposed to report with their parents. The first public university to take such a bold step lately.

I avoided using the word only because there has been a university that dared do that earlier. Daystar University had summoned all their parents to come for a ‘parents day.’ They were to report accompanied with their children. I thought this unusual. I mean at least it could have been a stakeholders meeting between their representatives and the university governing body.

So when Machakos University decided to do so also, I wasn’t surprised. I just wondered of the triggers of such moves which are not common, at least to me. I began to think of the times when universities were what universities are supposed to be.

Back in the day, going to university wasn’t an easy fete. It was a struggle worth of merit. A university was an institution of men and women who understood how the roots of education are bitter. They didn’t think of the fruits of education as ordinary. They were unordinary when education served its purpose in society. That of morally and socially empowering young men and women to think towards independence.  A time when education decolonized the minds of the oppressed. They were the old days.

I don’t know where we lost it and that glory dimmed because today universities are a skeleton of their glorious past and anything to do with what they ought to do is just hearsay.

Why would a university order parents to report with their adult children. The law of Kenya identifies anybody above 18 years old as an adult. It is this component that universities rode to further develop the independence of the young minds. This is both in mind and thought; intellectually, as well as morally.

Now that universities have skewed so much towards intellectual development of the students, often void of intellectualism itself, it should not surprise us that moral development is thrown into the dust bin. The higher institutions of learning have become breeding grounds for all forms of social ills. Talk of moral decay and you can’t miss to mention our colleges and universities.

There has been murder cases committed by or to university students up to most recently. Acts of rape, banditry, prostitution, all over by our college and university sisters and brothers. The emergence of the word sponsor originated from college girls dating older men for material gains. And when the dark side of the affairs come knocking, they all sit quiet and holier than though. It is a system that has become normal today. Were universities destined to be that way?

Convocation
Higher education should serve its true purpose if we are to have stronger foundations for our tomorrow. Photo courtesy of blogs@NTU.

In secondary schools, we were often instructed to report with our parents when we did strike and burned school property, when we failed our exams terribly or when our code of conduct contravened that of the school. That was my school back in the day and I believe it is a system shared by other schools across the country even to date.

In college, I witnessed lots of strikes, lots of bad conduct by students and even academic failures. The funniest thing is that I didn’t see any parent being summoned. They were dealt with at personal level. It could be that still our universities had the understanding that they were dealing with adult individuals whose decisions were well thought of. The parents were left out because eventually bad decisions made by the students in the school of life would be borne by themselves. That is what it means by true learning.

Today, it seems that we should extend the adult age to 21 years upon which the students can then be allowed to exercise their independence because from the parental summons, things do not seem good. Young men and women who can’t simply discern cause and effect, or so I think, should be under parental guidance for sure.

The wrong mindsets our young people have that they study hard to gain university entry marks so that they can enjoy life is ill advised. For those of us who finished college awhile back, we can tell you that weak foundations from college days have a longer effect to your after life than you may think. Using those prime years well and leaving to face life in its truest form goes a long way to help.

When parents are being summoned to report with their children in a university scenario means we have lost the true objectives of higher learning education. Parents only need to come for the graduation to celebrate with you and not for you. It thus means that in college you have to learn to make the right decisions. It is the development stage for the leaders of today and proper citizens of the country.

It is not right for us to keep quiet when such summons are made. We need to rise up and inquire and know where things are not going well and see what needs to be done. I belief that when things go wrong in our higher institutions of learning, then we don’t have a nation. And if we have one then it will be full of societal problems.

So should we worry ourselves if Kenya heads in the wrong direction? I think we shouldn’t because after all, the warning signs had revealed themselves to us long time ago; from our very own colleges and universities.

Let us work together on improving and renewing the spirit of true education in our colleges and universities and then we can be sure that we have a country. Otherwise we will wake up to a rude shock that the red lights on our fall shone long time ago, that we never saw them.

End.

Copyright @ 2018.

Geoffrey Ndege

Geoffrey Ndege

Geoffrey Ndege is the Editor and topical contributor for the Daily Focus. He writes in the areas of Science, Politics, Policy, Technology, Current Affairs, Opinion, Agriculture, Energy, Education, Entrepreneurship, Governance, International Emerging Issues, Society, and culture. For featuring, promotions or support write to us at ndegegeoffrey@gmail.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *