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Badilisha Lugha KISWAHILI

Is it so difficult to give instructions?

16th April 2012
Editorial Cartoon

Some Form Four leavers selected to join Form Five in public secondary schools have in the last few days been subjected to an unnecessarily irritating situation.

Accompanied by their parents, they popped into several offices, made a number of time-wasting and resource consuming calls, all because the schools which they were to join were yet to send them joining instructions, well past the opening date.

After futile efforts, some of the students and parents phoned The Guardian last week to complain and ask for help out of the mess.

The schools were set to open on April 12, which was last Thursday, but as of yesterday some of the selected students were yet to get the instructions.

According to reports most of the students had indicated that the joining instructions be routed through their schools, or home addresses.

Yet when some of the students made follow up with their former schools and colleagues they were told that no instructions had been received.

The Guardian in its efforts to establish the source of the problem has been in touch with the various parties, including the deputy ministers holding the dockets of secondary school education in the education ministry and local government and regional administration under the Prime Minister’s Office.

Their only advice is for the students to go to municipal administrations of their former schools for help.

The Guardian continues to pursue the issue, hoping that a solution will be found soon to enable the stranded students proceed to their respective schools after clear instructions on what is needed to enable them to start classes without more hassle.

The mishap has however raised a number of pertinent questions that the ministry and the government must ponder. For a start what really caused the breakdown between the schools and students?

This is especially after the deputy minister for education Phillip Mulugo announced well in advance that the schools which the selected students would join should issue the instructions in time.

We believe that the heads of these schools had the names of the selected students and some kind of contact, even if it was their former schools. How much effort did these heads put into ensuring that the students were informed of the requirements on time?

The same question can be posed for the ministry of education, which has representation all the way down to the district level.

How much effort have these ministry officials been making to sort out the confusion?

At government level, the question is whether there is enough push for more of its institutions to adopt the already available modern communication technology such as the mobile phone and computer-based communication.

At a time when people in rural villages are receiving money and other valuable information through the gadget, there is no reason why it should not have been used to communicate the instructions through a simple sms.

Whatever is happening to e-government? Why has the ministry not taken steps to ensure that just as most students learn of their examination results online, so can they be efficiently instructed through the same medium at minimum cost, compared to the desperate run from one office to the other?

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