1O Lessons from the 2010 decade – #1 – Education
From the desk of _mwl Gregg Tendwa
Kilifi. Kenya. 31 Dec 2019
Lesson 1 – education – When I cleared campus in 2008 and was ready to go and get employed as my parents had advised, I declined the offer to join the Teachers Service Commission of Kenya and decided to pursue a career in development through communication. I didn’t know where to start or how to start but my first project was a campaign that got the attention of the nation – The Jars of Clay concert for Gjue 1 Million (2009) & Gpange campaign (2010).
I don’t regret that decision for a second, also looking at how the teachers service commission and the labor rights organization such as the Kenya National Union of Teachers, Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers and now Kenya Women Teachers Association have done more of exploiting teachers than bringing dignity to the teaching career. We basically go to school to go through an education system that will help us find a job and not necessarily make us human beings that are critical historians, explorers, and kinder to each other and the planet.
It is in this decade I saw, first-hand the rot that is our education system – and how it is basically set to produce dysfunctional human beings. As an employer, you will need to retrain your staff all over again, have them unlearn all school stuff in order for them to function in the current work environment. Even then, you struggle with smaller things like attention to detail, too much ambition or the absolute lack of, corrupted work ethics where it is often about how much you can steal from the opportunity at hand.
When we over commercialized education, and engaged in thousands of battles with teachers, and parents absconded their duty in complementing learning, and the ministry of education tightened the rope around teachers making them slaves of their work environment – then the child became the biggest looser and it is evident in the quality of human beings we are experiencing today.
We have incentivised learning to become just about 2 or 3 scores of your life – at primary school is KCPE, at secondary school is KCSE and then a Degree you score at University. I believe education today should be about the discovery of talents, the awakening of eternal curiosity, critical thinking and building more kindness in a world already spoilt by the best brains that earth could ever find. Discovering and nurturing talents is critical, because it is possible to survive on your talents when everything else fails.
In the past decade, I’ve learnt how to be a festival producer, ethnomusicologist, awesome DJ, music producer, events manager, digital strategist, digital media manager, campaigns manager, fundraiser, social innovator. I was never awarded certificate of merit for any of these, yet they make a bigger part of my life – including how I butter my bread.
In the coming decade, we can only hope that the roll out of the new competency based curriculum will bring new purpose to the concept of education and learning , and that learning shouldn’t be as competitive or incentivised. Coupled with self-teaching, mentorship and apprenticeship become central to building our learning culture and the human resources that we desire.
Creative and Innovation hubs will become more centralized as centers of alternative learning in the job creation value chain, especially in finding news solutions to old problems while bridging the gap between school and a market that is saturated with copy paste mediocrity.
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