This is examination season in the east African region. Most members of the East African Community have harmonised their school examination calendars and right now primary school leavers are sitting their final exams.
Unlike with some of our neighbours, national examinations are uneventful- there is no drama as we are used to seeing across our borders. There no siege-like state of atmosphere, no examination leakages or elaborate cheating.
There are several reasons cheating in schools in East Africa has taken alarming proportions. Getting a place in good schools that will guarantee a sound education base is a cut-throat affair; parents are ready to do what it takes to achieve what they want.
There are also schools that mount elaborate schemes to paint their schools in good light to attract more students. When it comes to time to register students for the exams, those deemed to be weak are registered in satellite schools.
When results are published sometimes the schools post 100% success rate attracting parents in droves to give their children the best education possible. It is an elaborate racket.
Luckily, those are issues we hardly have to deal with, but there is one that needs addressing urgently. For years the true worth of a teacher is not recognised.
They are still paid peanuts compared with other professionals in the civil service. It is not fair or logical that someone entrusted with the formative years of our children is not motivated enough.
Yesterday, a senatorial standing committee was discussing the teachers’ plight, but as usual, they were just venting their discontent but not giving clear, workable solutions. It is time to discuss the teaching profession profoundly so that the same subject does not crop up again in the next Senate.