Banning motivational speaking in Kenyan schools is a wrong move.
by NjukiMartin Posted on 30-05-2016
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Kenyan Education Principal Secretary Belio Kipsang announced the ban of motivational speaking in public schools. He said this was meant to protect students from radicalisation. According to Standard Media, the PS was addressing head teachers from Nandi County during a retreat in Kisumu. Dr Kipsang said the ministry had revoked all letters that had been issued to the motivational speakers. Earlier on, the CS, Mr. Matiang'i had banned prayers and sports in the schools.

My message to the government is this quote from Laurie Halse Anderson in the movie Speak:

“Censorship is the child of fear and the father of ignorance.”

Retrogressive leaders ban the activities they are too lazy to take control of. Dr Kipsang claims that some motivational speakers and preachers were radicalising learners under the disguise of motivational talk should be a wakeup call to the digital jubilee government; a wakeup call to address the long neglected institution of mentoring in public schools.

Students are craving for information that is current and which the curriculum does not provide for. Mentors are best placed to offer this current information. When I was making a choice to study computer science, I did so with very little information on what the course was all about. Clearly my high school teachers were not very well versed with the field and could not answer the many questions I had.

Luckily for us, a motivational speaker visited the school just around then. He shed so much light on my career based questions and I am where I am today because he answered my questions.

The principal secretary said that the Government would not tolerate actors who visit schools to perform set book plays to students. “We must put stringent measures in place to ensure that our children are not fed with the wrong information,” said Kipsang.

Banning is not a stringent measure but a admission by the government that it has lost control. What are the responsibilities of teachers if not to oversee such acting and speaking events? The government can also build a database of vetted speakers instead of a blanket ban. Opinion Kenya has a publicly available database of vetted mentors who are more than willing to offer their services.

Students at high school level are ever hungry for current information relating to their careers. Unless the government offers an alternative for motivational speaking, then banning such is switching off another bulb in classrooms already too dark with lack of enlightenment. 

Francis Njenga aka Yatool Spoke 52 times to about 48 schools during first term of 2016 alone.

He ventured into remote schools where Mr. Kipsang may never set foot in. He has listened to many students’ issues and addressed them satisfactorily. From trivial teenage challenges to complicated home situations that necessitate second and third visits, Yatol, as he is commonly referred, has offered many students answers to questions few would even understand.

Banning Yatol and the many motivational speakers from visiting another 48 schools is drying yet another information tap. This is unacceptable.



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Njuki Martin JM
About the Writer NjukiMartin
OCCUPATION Computer Science

I have purposed to be very keen on the role of ICT in today’s world and in shaping the future towar