Kenya: The Indigenous Homeland

by Ngala Chome According to my national registration document, I ‘come’ from a sub-location called Murimani, in a location called Kayafungo, in a division called Kaloleni, which is in a district called Kilifi. I have never lived in all these places. However, in Kenya, home is not necessarily where one lives, where one learns how…

The Language-in-Education Policy Conundrum

Ed: This essay is part of a series of essays on education policy in the country. Find part one here. by Laila Le Guen The gap between language policy and actual implementation across educational institutions isn’t given the attention it deserves, and children’s learning is taking a toll as a result. If Kenya is committed…

The Wrath of the Gods

“You could hear women lamenting, children crying, men shouting. Some were calling for parents, others for children or spouses; they could only recognize them by their voices. Some bemoaned their own lot, others that of their near and dear. There were some so afraid of death that they prayed for death. Many raised their hands…

The Blindspots of STEM-Focused Education Reform

by Laila Le Guen Curriculum reform is a hot button topic in any part of the world but the stakes are particularly high in Kenya, where the 8-4-4 system has been so consistently criticised since its implementation. Science, technology, engineering and mathematics – known as STEM subjects – have been identified as a priority and…

What About The Girl Child?

Two weeks ago in Bungoma County, twenty girls from Chelebei Secondary Schoolgirls in Mt Elgon were confirmed pregnant after a routine check by the school when they returned from the December holidays. Their deputy principal, David Emachar, blamed the girls’ parents for not closely monitoring their children’s activities and whereabouts during the holidays, saying “we…

Edgelands: A New Reading of the City

by Kahira Ngige “…one such concept is that of “urban metabolism”, which refers to the metabolic processes by which cities transform raw materials, energy and water into the built environment, human biomass and waste. The adoption of this concept has fostered new imaginations of what the city is and how material and immaterial flows –…

The Predictable Nature Of Corruption in Kenya

Corruption scandals have become a “fact of life” for many Kenyans, who have come to regard them as just another facet of Kenyan life, alongside high taxes, poor service delivery, our “cult of personality” approach to politics and religion, and the misfortunes occasioned to us by terrorism. These burdens seem to be ours for the…

2015: Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, Or Death

“Liberty, equality, fraternity, or death; – the last, much the easiest to bestow, O Guillotine!” Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities This is Dickens’ take on the slogan of the French Revolution, “The Republic One and Indivisible of Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, or Death,” and I do not think there is a better statement to describe…