Before the announcements of the KCPE results back in my year, I remember being nervous as hell. I was so frightened, the pressure mounted on us by teachers and parents was too much to take in. It was always masked in a way to make it seem as if it was a do or die situation. Some kids also had to re-do the class over and over till ‘they got it right’. Smart kids were kings and queens, then there were the rest, the minions. From time to time, the teachers exempted the ‘smart kids’ from punishments and in turn they were rewarded with extra student benefits. Failure at this point meant that your life was ruined, but is it ever?

Let me set forth by stating that ,getting good grades in primary and high school is amazing. It provides better chances and future prospects, but the truth is, two months straight ourra campus, I can say with a stern face, ‘good grades aren’t the beginning, nor the end of it all.’ There is so much more that young people are rarely told in Primary and secondary school. Many years pass by, with youngens being taught on how to follow the system. STUDY! STUDY! STUDY! Wake up, study! sleep study! Walk study! Finish school be a doctor!

The other day, my friend got sick, and in the dire desperation to get medication in a remote place, she had to visit a Government hospital, poor girl almost got conned, to end the short story, she did not get the treatment because she was being told to pay for lab tests which should be free. They definitely knew she was not from around there, that is why they did it. The Government doctors are being paid poorly and some have resulted to extreme conning cases to sustain themselves. This is the result of the assumptions made, assumptions that some jobs pay well than others, assumptions that grades are a definite pointer to success, assumptions that some careers are much better than others.

Sad thing is, this isn’t always the case, so much has changed since the 1980’s. If I was to advice my younger self, I would tell her to get an education while also enhancing her skills on the side, take time to live life and see what it has to offer, realise her talents, make good networks and create healthy relationships, focus on personal growth. It might be a cliche, but most people still don’t get it. There is so much more to life than grades and school. Unlike the 80’s so many things have come up providing better pay and opportunities in regard to your passions and interests. Entrepreneurship, politics, Art, music, fashion, social media, dancing, acting, modelling, the list is endless.

Sometimes, most of the good jobs are not obtained through grades, but simply through networking and being very good at what you do, you know putting in work and effort. The other day, I eavesdropped some kid being sidelined because she could not get a ‘good high school’, Every so often, I believe the parents don’t understand the amount of pressure they put on their kids, I can’t emphasize this enough, some of these kids grow up experiencing extreme low self-esteem issues thinking that they are not good enough and will never amount to anything, it isn’t fair.

Young people should be encouraged to work hard in school, but also be provided for with the opportunity to explore their own interests.

#grades #success #kcse #kcpe

Angie Mithayo.

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