By Wandia Njoya Via Facebook
I was at the CBC conference yesterday.
I wanted to be there because I knew the vibe from the meeting would say a lot more than any report or video recording could tell. I was not wrong.
That conference was a show of power. The government came guns blazing and herded us into pretending that we endorse CBC. The president made us wait for 5 hours. For a brief moment, there was a parent who came to praise CBC. He said his kid didn’t like academics, went to graphic design college and is now doing well. That’s why we need CBC. I was like…wait. If the guy has graduated, that means we could have fixed the current system instead of replacing it..
Anyway, Muigai finally showed up. Nancy Macharia, the head of TSC who harasses teachers, told us how proud she was of her teachers who have embraced CBC. She was followed by a Ghanaian deputy education minister who said he left a thriving career in the US after 20 years to go back and serve in Ghana. I wasn’t going to pay much attention until he said that he had been promoting charter schools in the US. I was like great. Betsy Devos has come to town.
Then Magoha came and behaved himself, spoke for one minute and introduced Muigai. Muigai then read a speech prepared for him, when he declared that grades 7 to 9 will be in high school. It was kinda a no brainer, because high school is going back to the A level system that the golden oldies have missed for so long, and they needed to pick some extra years and add to the high school. My theory is that Uthamakistan is trying to wipe out anything with Moi on it, and reconstruct Kenya like Moi never happened and Kenyattas are still in control. So 8.4.4. had to go. Just like the old bank notes.
Then Muigai went off the cuff and told those jokes in the clip about Steve Jobs and Bill Gates that is doing the rounds. When he finished the comedy, he said “anyway, let me go back to my speech here,” and the first word of the rest of the speech was “finally.” That’s the only time I smiled.
There was some Tanzanian guy called Dr. Rajani, from Twaweza, the former employer of KICD chair Sara Ruto. Twaweza was all over that conference. Their guy was so patronizing. He asked Magoha to embrace critics because our views will improve CBC, and then to embrace teachers and parents as well. I was extremely insulted because he basically made us look as if we are not addressing real problems with CBC, but were looking for a handshake.
That said, I gave points to capital and power for that speech. It was very well played. The guy made gava smell like flowers by talking like we mattered. But we didn’t.
We didn’t, because using pre-conferences, they got different sectors to write resolutions pledging support for CBC and asking for resources to be targetted to specific areas.
The most pitiful resolution was read by Archbishop Wabukala. Anglicans – you need to do something about that Archbishop post. Retiring them so young (yes) makes them vulnerable to abuse. But I digress.
Then we were patronized with some announcements about sending our feedback digitally since this is a digital curriculum. We finished within two and a half hours.
By the time the event was done, I was also done. There was lunch served by the Sarova Hotels, but I didn’t want to eat food offered to idols. So as I was wondering what to do with my voucher, a young lady, who clearly had not attended the conference, came to ask me where to get a voucher from. I took that as a sign from God and gave her my voucher and left.
As I think back on the event, I am left with one major feeling. This CBC is not about education. It’s about something else. KICD doesn’t know what to do with our critiques because they were not expecting Kenyans to have an actual discussion of education. So now I’m beginning to feel that this CBC thing may not be worth commenting on, until I remember that it is real human beings who will be affected by these games the rich are playing with our minds.
I do feel so sorry for Kenya’s children. They honestly don’t deserve this.