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To read or to right

Speaking in his office, the Deputy Minister of Education and Vocational Training, Mr Philipo Mulugo said that this anomaly was discovered after the students failed in a form one prerequisite test.

This test is scheduled to be attempted by all students entering form one throughout the country. He added that a special task force, which will investigate the problem, has been formed. All students who are unable to read or write would be sent back home immediately.

Additionally, teachers found to be involved in cheating would face disciplinary action. So, it is problem identified and problem solved. Swift and direct. Kasimpya!! This means that 234 of the 43,240 students who passed Standard Seven national examinations would be sent back home.

If not taught to read and write the anomaly would ultimately raise the national literacy levels. They will be sent back home as punishment. I asked myself how a student goes through 7 years of schooling only to emerge at the end of it all, unable to read and write. My answers did not have any of the usual stories we hear.

Nothing to do with the shortage of teachers, the lack of school supplies and all that but rather what would hinder a child from learning how to read and write? Not the puzzling y+x Algebra sadness or to write a five-page essay on Newton’s law of Gravity or even the state of economy, but to simply read and write. Various theories came to mind.

Possible conspiracy theories. The teachers who have been given the mandate to teach these students might have in fact been
teaching them everything but to read and write. Ever wondered how all the maids you have ever had have been excellent maandazi and chapati makers! Vitumbua, Katless, Sambusas, Bhagias and so on and so forth? I actually learnt to cook Chapatis from our maid.

Learning to cook bites for the teachers to sell and earn instead of the basic a-b-c and 1-2-3 seemed possible. After all, one has to do what they can to earn an extra shilling. I thought of all the gardening and fetching of water for teachers and more importantly, the principal as a possible theory.

This seemed very possible. No head of school should be left to cater for his own needs when an army of young, energetic and eager to please students are available. But what if the ‘teaching’ didn’t stop there? What if these students were made to run errands like going to Mama Mushi to check if she had milk or asking Baba Bright if he was available for evening drinks? Teachers have every right to have personal assistants. All theories, of course.

Suppose it happened that the teachers who marked the standard seven national examinations were actually watching a Spanish Telenova while marking the papers? Alejandro leaving his wife for Isabella (who is actually pregnant with Pedro’s baby) might have been on.

This Alejandro and Isabella love affair romance may have made all the answers, written but most likely drawn, seem perfect. I am sure that Mr Mulugo’s special task force will discover the whole truth because mine are but mere theories. Of course.

Twitter: @AmbyLusek Email: “ms.lusekelo @gmail.com

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Author: AMBY LUSEKELO

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