School day in the slum
It’s 10 o’clock Monday morning, scattered groups of children play about in the narrow alleys littered with garbage.
A few meters away, a private school housed in a rental house opens its gates to let its pupils play out in the open road-the only open continuous space between kiambiu slums and Eastleigh airbase fence.
The first group of children ought to be in school but lady luck has chosen to look the other way for the time being, and that is the scenario replicating itself here, there, whichever way you turn to look.
On the contrary, the second group of children who eventually make it to school do not have the necessary basic equipments for recreation not to mention the makeshift rental houses passing out as classrooms in over ten private schools and counting.
This is the mix within, it’s the slum life, the choices are few if any, in the meantime hope is awaited!
In my formative years growing up i had nurtured the dream of becoming a professional accredited writer, In fact to this day, running through the my mails are countless responses to inquiries i made, but that was never to be as the cost went way beyond my reach. Today as you read this you’ll remember am only trying to live my dream though not to the best of standards i had hoped for.
Every child is born unique with hopes and aspiration to live up to, some grandeur, some average but they all require help and guidance from quality institutions to mindful policy makers and stakeholders in order to develop their set talents to maturity.
But who will raise the thousands of children living in the slums as regards qualitative education and cognitive development so that they can confidently compete with their peers from the affluent homes?
“Article 53 of the Kenyan constitution thus summarizes education as a right in all public schools but does that imply all children of school going age within the slums can simply cross roads to adjacent neighborhoods and join classes at the available public schools?
Yes and No.
Yes because it’s a constitution right of every child. No because the children will need the input of parent’s a majority of whom are living with less than $2 a day, barely enough to put a decent meal on the family table.
To enroll your child at a public school today we checked and found the basic list as below:
- school uniform: $11.4,
- shoes: $10.26,
- School bag: $5.7,
- Admission fee: $45.5.
It is no-wonder many children of school going age will still be seen loitering and playing about in the slums’ crevices while their peers take lessons albeit from an untrained teacher, in a not so formal set up.