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Bringing Out Your Child’s Best In Education And In Life.

By Carolyne Gaithuma

The matatu is packed to capacity and some old men at the back seat are complaining about the lack of space and how they need a slim person to fit in between them because the seat has to fit four people. This conversation makes me give them my attention and so when their next conversation starts I am all ears.

It is back to school and so the sight of many school going teenagers is what gets one of the men to start a conversation about exam cheating. The men discuss about the corruption involved in exam cheating and the measures the government is taking to combat it. Their discussion also involved the difference between the Kenyan education system and Japanese and Chinese education systems. According to the men, the Kenyan system should be changed to empower talents and gifts instead of replacing them with grilling to pass exams.

This discussion by strange old men brought to me to the questions, why are children cheating in exams? Isn't the pressure to pass exams too much for them that they feel the need to do whatever is possible to pass? What are we educating them for? As we send our children back to school this term, what are we expecting from them at the end of it all?

When my children started school, I was of the opinion that children go to school to learn different subjects, pass exams so that they can achieve their dreams through their desired careers. That, I believe, is what most parents send their children to school for. Even when adults go back to further their studies, this is the thought process that they hold.

After surviving depression and getting a fresh start at life, I looked back and realized that life is not about getting a great career and acquiring as many material things as possible. I have been there done that and I was not fulfilled. Even your dream career cannot give you fulfillment if you do not see the connection it has with your life purpose. We are all here to fulfill a certain purpose in life and we only get fulfilled when we believe we are on the path of destiny.

We were all born with unique abilities, talents and passions. These are what God equipped us with to help us accomplish something with our lives on Earth. If only we would nurture them, they have the potential of giving our lives direction and momentum towards our life purpose. So what should we be educating for? School should be a place where children are exposed to many opportunities of finding out what they are good at. When it is discovered that they are good at something, they should be encouraged to master it.

Our current education system educates for the workforce. It has therefore given rise to generations in pursuit of money and this has created a very corrupt country. How happy would we all be if our work was what we are passionate about? What if to top it up we believed that our work is what we are on Earth to do to help humanity be more representative of God? We would be very fulfilled, peaceful and loving. A human being was created to live a fulfilled life and so whatever promises fulfillment, he pursues with all his might.

It is therefore paramount that as you take your child back to school, ask yourself why you are taking them to school. This will increase your involvement in their learning process and you will begin to exert pressure to school management to give your children what they need to fulfill their life purpose. This is how our education system will change. You might not have much of a say in what the curriculum entails, but you can influence how it is delivered.

You need time with your child and they need to experience different activities and places to increase their chances of connecting with their passion so ask the school why they are having holiday tuition. Your child needs rest so ask why the homework they are getting does not even allow them to leave the house. Your child needs their strengths reinforced and not their weaknesses insisted upon so ask why they have to be the last to leave school after remedial classes feeling so inferior.

Many of us completed school and went into the careers that we desired, got the salaries that we dreamed of and we were happy. After a while, what we were doing started feeling like it is not fitting into the bigger picture and right there we created side hustles to pursue our passions. Some of us were overwhelmed by the passion and we quit our day jobs, others are still hanging on while others have not even asked themselves the question of why am I here.

Do your children a favor and save them from the rat race. Education takes up the largest chunk of a child’s life so if you are not involved, you are missing out on the making of your child. Be a mentor to your children and give them as many opportunities to discover their passions and when they do find them, help them pursue them with all their heart. The money always comes. It is attracted by passion and action.

Our Guest writer is an Intuitive transformational life coach based in Thika and Nairobi.

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