BACK TO SCHOOL

September 2019

There was a beehive of activity in most of the supermarkets and uniform shops this weekend. Schools officially opened today for the third term. This term is very crucial; Standard 8 students sit their final exams, and in January, they join Secondary School. Those that have performed well will gain admission into top government schools; this is every students’ dream. The Form 4 students will also start their final examinations in November. They will get their results in January, and by February will be admitted into universities and colleges depending on their performances.

This is a very stressful time for parents as they have to spend a lot of money sending the children back to school. Those that have been paying school fees in installments have to make sure they clear the tuition arrears, otherwise, the children will be sent away from school. Some parents in the village will be forced to sell their cows, sheep and other domestic animals, so they can pay the tuition fees for their children. Those in the city will be applying for loans for tuition fees.

Poverty causes many students to miss the opportunity to go to school. When a little money is available in the families, there are so many needs to be met like food, health, payment of rent, amongst others. Buying school uniforms is very expensive, transport to and from school is also very costly. Public means of transport are very unreliable which forces parents to put the children on private means of transport, this hikes the cost. It is, therefore, very sad when a parent sacrifices all they have to send a child to school and in return, they fail.

Some of the students don’t take the parents efforts seriously; some are involved in the abuse of drugs, some skip classes and hang out in the shopping malls during school hours. Boarding schools are embraced by most parents because they keep the children away from a lot of distractions like TV, social media, drugs, early pregnancies and marriages, as well as negative peer pressure. It is sad to know that despite all the efforts made to keep the children safe, drugs are still finding their way into the schools. The school administration has a hard time keeping the drugs out of school. When the students report back to school, they are thoroughly screened, but somehow the drugs still find a way into the schools.

The Choice Club curriculum addresses most of these issues. It encourages the students to stay in school by avoiding bad company, staying focused on their studies, appreciating the efforts the parents are making, and maintaining a positive attitude. We are happy to receive positive reports from most of the schools where we teach regarding positive changes in the students’ behavior.

As students report back to school this week, we are wishing them well. Those that will be seating for their final exams usually get very anxious at this time; we hope they will do their best to try to remain calm and focused.

As the school year draws to a close, Valvisions will have graduation ceremonies for the Choice Club in all the schools where we have been mentoring. We will start with Shiners Girls, then Kimuka school, AIC Ngong, and finish with Njabini Girls. For our December conference, we will be partnering with a drug rehabilitation center where we will carry out awareness programs for the communities. Drug abuse has been a big challenge which is why we’ve decided to focus on it.

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