Friday, September 28, 2012

Quest for Knowledge

by William Ochieng

A famous scholar once said ‘if you want to go far, go alone and if you want to go further, go with people.’  This quote is relevant during the three week long teachers strike that paralyzed learning in all public schools countrywide. Despite the teachers’ strike, students need not sleep on their knee to search for excellence to better their lives.

In the Kibera slums a group of eight young students both high school and primary used to converge at the Uweza Foundation center to discuss mathematics, English, chemistry and other subjects.  One of the students stands up who is bright in mathematics and shows the rest how a sum is tackled when brought in the question paper. He leads the rests step by step on the methods and formula followed to arrive at the answer.

After that, each one them is assigned to bring similar questions.  They then discuss other subjects like English and the rest.  What I discovered was that the students made sure that each understood well the concept, and if you are a slow learner, sessions are more repetitive in order to tackle the problem.

I posed a question to one of the boys “Has the teachers strike brought an end to learning?"  His take was that with or without the teachers' presence, learning must continue.  The teachers work, he said, is only to supplement and much of the work that should be done by the student himself.

All of the students aspire to be engineers, pilots, doctors, lawyers, etc. and they are determined to meet their goals.  I advise them that in order to succeed, they must work entirely in all subjects so that they join better campuses and colleges both locally and abroad to study.  I noticed that the students are motivated to succeed to fulfill their dreams and I was happy with the ideas and encouraged them to forge ahead.

William Ochieng joined Uweza as an intern in September 2011.  After receiving a diploma in Community Development in September 2012, he joined the Uweza team full time as our Administrator.

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