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On a serious note

On a serious note
February 19
10:51 2018

The hallowed corridors of earthly power have been busy this side of Africa since November 2017. In Harare the curtain came down in November and it was swift and clean in its brutality. That’s how the boys in uniform clean up. Leave nothing for the vultures!

The Pretoria cookie just crumbled and Cyril has his bucket and mop in hand to do what the nation expects the new cleaner to do. As for the former guy, his only remaining wish is that they don’t open his back pack, because that would be tantamount to kicking a man while he’s down. I also hope the three to six months that his party denied him was not meant to collect his own gifts from the rural masses.

Coming back home, I am told the now dreadful BGCSE results are out and as usual tongues are wagging about what’s wrong and what can fix it. I hope the results don’t spoil the nation’s chief prefect’s tour of exit and sour his good gifts. I am not sure what the narrative will be this time from the curriculum owners. Most probably we will be reminded of how we are all responsible for the mess. Sometimes the relationship between the powers and the people reminds me of that between God and the devil. Believers know that all good things come from the Lord and everything else comes from the evil one. The nation’s prefects seem to adopt this line of thinking in their dealings with the masses. They often rally the nation to action when things go west, only to congratulate themselves when the tide turns. Who wouldn’t! The self-love is boundless that I guess even in occasions when the country is called to pray for rain, the prefects would rather congratulate themselves, than thank the nation. Who wants to thank a group that includes those who never agree with anything? Risk not worth taking!

As for the kids themselves, well, what can we say, except we are in trouble? They are a new breed and just like Bitcoin and no one understands them and how to deal with them. From boys openly demanding nightly access to the girls’ hostels, to rampant drug use, the nation is just dizzy with confusion. The girls’ hostel demand sounded bold, until the boys stated the alterative. They asked female teachers to be prepared to take the place of the girls, if girls’ hostels are out of bounds. Now for those of us who grew up in boarding school, if you are honest, you will admit though in private, that students’ sexual ambitions is nothing new. The problem with the current version is that it supersedes academic performance.

The undeniable fact amidst this poor academic performance is that, outside the classroom, kids continue to excel, even beyond years gone by. We have even become a prominent international presence, thanks to the extracurricular agenda. The coaches who produce these gems are the same ones that are said to be on salary strike since 2011. Based on this, I am starting to believe that sexual demands aside, we must be staring straight at fish being taught to climb trees. I am convinced that the results we see are nothing more than students “vomiting” the curriculum.  The system continues to teach children what is available, and except for those who can’t imagine a future without good grades, they don’t like it. Add that to the fact that most of those who contribute to the annual denominator were forced into the senior secondary curriculum with their “D” grade. Children are being put through school instead of being educated. The teachers also don’t enjoy their work because classrooms are full of kids who don’t know who Nelson Mandela is, but know the entire Kardashian family. The only happy kids are the athletes who don’t need anyone’s books to run and play. As we speak, few people know and even fewer are interested in how well or badly Nigel did at school. He just needed someone to believe in his dreams.

I will challenge someone to give those kids who get into senior school with a D-grade a computer for 12 weeks. If those kids are fascinated by the machine, we will have our own Botscoin in no time. Those kids will not even want to go to university, like we think they all do. Our children want to create apps, but the system is pushing Shaka Zulu and other things down their throats and it’s not working. Granted, even with computers, the naughty ones will still choose pornography and expect adult privileges in school. But if every child was exposed to something that tickles their natural inclination, our schools would graduate geniuses. Such a dream is worth any pula that can be thrown at it.

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