Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)

24 February 2013

Tanzania: What Happened to 'While They Walk We Run'?

opinion

The education system in the country is heading to the dogs, we all sing the same song, but in reality, we don't give a hoot, if you think you hate me then join the queue!

Msema kweli ni mpenzi wa mungu, and it is on this same page last year I told Tanzanians that our education system is rotten to the core, but as usual, no one paid attention, mwenye macho siku zote haambiwi tazama.

We are entitled to our opinion, and because Tanzania is a free country, we can say whatever we feel like saying, but one thing is for sure, when it comes to talking, we take the bigger chunk of the cake, Watanzania kwa kuongea hatukamatiki!

As we continue to talk, the education sector is sinking slowly, and talking of sinking, it is not the education sector which is heading towards the deep pits, idara kibao! When the form results were announced recently, kama ilivyo kawaida yetu, we started to talk, and we are still talking, but rest assured, very soon this talk will be forgotten, because by then we would have gotten some more juicier things to talk about, until next year when they announced this year's results, mnabisha!? Instead of putting to task those who are responsible for this drift, tunakaa vijiweni na kuongea tu, forgetting that problems are not swept away by talking, action is needed, urgent action.

I am one of the biggest stakeholders of education in this country, but one thing I realized is that most Tanzanians hate facing reality, they behave like the proverbial ostrich which went ahead and buried its head in the sand when the forest caught fire.

The reality is, most of us have adopted this don't care attitude, and we have embraced the attitude of pointing fingers and playing the blame game, na kama ilivyo kawaida yetu, we blame the government. We are so busy with very petty issues, forgetting all the major stuff which makes the backbone of every successful nation, and when things turn out not the way we expected, we look at the nearest scapegoat to pile all the blame on.

We forget that education starts at the very homes we are living, and that teachers are not there to correct the mistakes we intentionally do commit at home, and we forget that by paying school fees it is not the end of everything.

Hivi nikiuliza how many parents take the time to follow up on the progress of their children at school, what do you think the answer will be? Hata kama sio wazazi wote wawili, at least one of the parents, ni wangapi wana time hiyo? Having a good time and keeping guest house workers busy has become one of the favorite sports which keeps most people busy, elimu ya watoto wetu takes second place, kama nadanganya mnipige mawe!

I have heard of so many cases where parents are shocked when they come to realize that their innocent daughter is the proud owner of a very expensive mobile phone, na amekua nayo for almost two years! Others feign shock when they finally realize that their son has appeared in school for only two weeks in the whole term, because they have been too busy searching for the ever elusive shilling.

Sikatai serikali pia ina madhaifu yake, mengi tu, but to be honest, how much we as parents have we contributed in making sure that our children become the best in school? As a community, how far have we gone to make sure that the children in the society we are living in end up with good education?

If I am allowed to answer my own question, then I will say.....very little. Enzi za Mwalimu, children were children, and it is because our parents made sure that apart from receiving good education, they were always there to monitor our progress from the word go. Can we say the same now?

Our children are champions when it comes to watching pornographic movies at home, they know all the sites where you can access explicit sexual pictures from a mobile phone, as long as it has internet. Because we are always quick to point accusing fingers, we have already started blaming these children, calling them all sorts of names, but we should all know that they are called children, and we are called parents.....do you notice any difference!!?

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