Parents, guard children while on the long break
Primary and secondary schools are closing this week to pave way for national exams candidates in Grade Six, Standard Eight and Form Four to write their tests. The learners will this time spend a longer time at home than usual so as to enable the government to revert the education cycle to the normal calendar which was disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic for two years.
One of the revelations that emerged from the painful Covid era was that a considerable fraction of learners saw their lives plunge into wastefulness and misuse due to either idleness or ultra-active lifestyles.
Schoolgirls were the most affected as some of them were abused via gender-based violence and peer pressures that saw scores of them become teen mothers. A significanrt percentage of them did not report back to class when schools re-opened because they were either expecting or were nursing children.
It is against this background that we add our voice to the calls for parents to pay closer attention to children during this two-month holiday. The chairman of the Kenya Parents’ Association (KPA) Silas Obuhatsa advised that after exams, children should also be allowed to relax and spend time in sporting activities, character modelling programmes, entertainment and watching programmes beneficial to their wellbeing. He argued that children go through adolescence and they need a lot of care and guidance from parents.
We agree with him entirely. The holiday that ends on January 23, can be tiring and cumbersome if the children’s time is not well managed, especially so that the recess includes the Christmas festivities that involve a lot of merrying, partying and all sorts of camaraderie.
It is during those happy moments that the youngsters let their guard down, overindulge and all matters go south for them. Bad company, peer pressure and wayward behaviour tempt the young minds to succumb to destructive vices such as drug . These are some seamy outcomes we are asking parents to help prevent. Next year will be more challenging to all stakeholders in the education sector—be they parents, learners, teachers or the State. It will be prudent for each of these key segments to play their part.
Parents have the sole responsibility to ensure children are in safe hands and do the right things at the right time during the entire holiday. It is in the same spirit that we wish those taking exams the best of luck.