Private solutions to public problems are always costly – Kellie’s Boss
This post wouldn’t be up if I didn’t have a niece who recently joined Standard One. I’ve always been of the school of thought that private school is the best option and I would do all it takes to have my child(ren) attend the best private schools money can buy.
Then two things happened:
- My niece joined Standard One, and I happened to be at their place for two days and got to observe her schedule. She lives in South B, the school is in town, but the 5 year old has to be up by 5am so she can leave the house to catch the school bus by quarter to 6, spend a full day in school, come home at 5pm looking so stressed and weary. It hurt to see this.
- I saw this. Schooling at Pembroke is equivalent to one small car every term.
And it got me thinking, and discussing with everyone, why education is so costly in terms of money and effort for our children and what we can do about it. A discussion with my boss during one of his visits spawned this post.
He says that the private sector has got to stop solving public problems with private solutions as it’s costly. It results to parents who work 14 hour days to make enough for private school fees , and children who are stressed trying to keep up. We’re introducing our children to the rat race when they’re 5 years old.
What can we do different with the education system?
Is it possible for our public schools to be ‘good enough’ for our children? Why are public schools underfunded, and can that be solved by private individuals?
Walk with me for a minute.
Lets imagine we have 1,000 households in the Kilimani Area who spend on average Kshs 100,000 per household on private school fees per term, and the children spend about 2 hours daily on the road, an unaccounted for cost.
Assume each family is within walking or reasonable driving distance from St Georges Primary School, once a star performer but now reasonably run down.
If these families instead spent half of what they’re currently spending on rehabilitating St Georges, putting up proper administration and systems, would it be good enough for their children? Which public school wouldn’t thrive with an income base of Kshs 50 million per term?
Is it simplistic thinking? Maybe, but I feel if the private citizens were to get a bit more involved in the running of this country, then life would get less costly for us.