Educationists raise concerns over sustained exclusion of boys
Concerns have been raised over sustained exclusion of boys in the society at the expense of giving priority to girls, a situation that educationists say is likely to cripple the dream to achieve gender equality, which remains a global concern.
Stakeholders in the education sector claim that continuous neglect of boys in the country is nearing a crisis that could take decades to resolve.
They regretted that exclusion of boys continues to manifest itself in alarming uptake of outlawed substances which has resulted in truancy in the families, low-esteem, increased crime, violence, suicidal cases and high rates of illiteracy.
In a forum that brought together primary school heads, boards of management and counsellors from Kiambu County, the educationists rooted for a balance in empowerment programs to ensure that the boy child is at par with his girl counterpart for gender equality.
The imbalance in the society, they said has further resulted in failed marriages, gender-based violence alongside abuse of women’s rights despite the government’s efforts to fight for them.
Led by Julius Wanyaga, a teacher at Merishaw Boys High School, the stakeholders rooted for collaborative efforts to salvage the boy child from the mire that the society threw them into.
“We have men and women who have volunteered to use their resources and time to help boys rediscover themselves after society failed to mentor them. We will use mentors, schools with facilities that can support talents to help them re-experience what a man is,” said Wanyaga.
Wanyaga’s sentiments were echoed by Truphena Wakaba, a counsellor who decried that exclusion of boy child begins right at the grassroots as the society has given more importance to the plight of the girl child, who is considered as weak and vulnerable, to the detriment of the boy child who is considered strong hence needs no attention.
Wakaba further cited that gender equality campaigns focus on protecting girls while forgetting that boys too grapple with insecurities.
“This alone has made it quite difficult to realize the gender equality that the world has been seeking,” she said.
The stakeholders pointed out the need to consolidate efforts to cushion the boy child against suffering and urged parents specially to facilitate their boys to feel comfortable to associate with their peers.
With the rollout of the Competency Based Curriculum (CBC) hitting children aged 10 and 11, parents were also urged to shift their minds from the old education system and embrace the new one for them to stop feeling overwhelmed by the CBC demands.
According to Esther Githogora who is a sports teacher, while the government has not done enough to ensure establishment of key infrastructures for CBC implementation, parents need to change mentally for them to align with the new system.
“We have been having CBC all along but we have not had an opportunity to discover the talents in our children and it's now time. Change is hard to do because it comes with teething problems but if it's good, we better struggle with the initial challenges,” she said adding that CBC is the best system that will enable children to discover and have their talents nurtured at formative ages.