Illiteracy is Kenya’s greatest challenge” cannot be far from the truth. This is no doubt Kenya’s biggest challenge 50 years after independence.
Lack of an educated population is the greatest problem facing this country. This in turn affects every other aspect of our national development drive. If we have an educated and enlightened population, most of the other problems would be solved. On the issue of leadership,because the majority of Kenyans are not knowledgeable with little or no say in the political dynamics of their country, the few educated people have unfettered latitude to lord it over their people is inconsistent with the attributes of a real educated person. Anyone who lords over others does not fit the billing of an educated person.
Napoleon Hill in his book Think and Grow Rich says “An educated man is not, necessarily, one who has an abundance of general or specialized knowledge. An educated man is one who has so developed the faculties of his mind that he may acquire anything he wants, or its equivalent, without violating the rights of others. –”
Our ‘educated leaders’ violate the rights of others through the abuse of pubic offices to gratify their selfish ambitions. For one to be considered educated, they must respect others through examining their own actions and how they affect others. This is why Socrates, the father of philosophy would challenge people to examine their life and actions for “unexamined life is not worth living”.
Kenya has made tremendous effort investing in education for its people but going through schooling is not a guarantee that you become educated. Most people acquire knowledge on specific areas like accounting, IT, engineering ,auditing whose goal is to land a job and nothing else. My point is, while we have too many Kenyan who have gone through schooling, most of them do not add value to society. Let us take an example of a trained accountant working in a government office but use the opportunity to embezzle fund in order to enrich themselves. An educated person is able to analyze their actions and their consequences, understand how their small contribution is like different parts of a system which works together to achieve the goals of the whole system.
When I was going to university, I was full of expectations to meet great individuals and great minds both students and professors. What I found there was contrary to what I expected. Lecturers wasted my valuable time dictating notes as I write instead of sharing ideas and knowledge the Socratic way. Students too were pathetic. Illiteracy is Kenya’s greatest challenge, but my biggest worry is those who are ‘educated’ but their way of thinking, their behaviors is full of mediocrity.