Inequality is a big knee on the necks of Kenya’s poor
Thursday, June 25, 2020 0:01
By NG'ANG'A MBUGUA
Pupils of a primary school in Baringo learning under a tree in 2018.
For instance, while the children of rich and middle class families have been attending classes on Edmodo, Zoom, Blue Jeans and such other digital platforms, the children of the poor have been herding goats in rural savannahs or playing hopscotch all day in urban slums, with grey rivulets of mucus tricking down their nostrils.
And although there is insufficient infrastructure in public schools to support such measures as social distancing, the Ministry of Education yesterday signalled that it will only allow children back to school once the institutions put in place mechanisms to provide for a maximum of 20 children per classroom.
That is why, even as we join the rest of the world in campaigning for the recognition and respect of the rights of black people in America, China and other first world countries, at home, we must also check whether there are logs in our eyes that prevent the poor from realising their full potential on account of the bottlenecks that our economic policies and political structures have put in their way.
Which is all very good, but what does it say about the society that we are building when some children's lives have not been disrupted while others have gone back to 19th century pre-occupations such as herding, hunting and fetching firewood in "the jungle"?