Why are our children burning their schools?

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By Peter Kenneth

I cannot authoritatively say but what I can assert strongly is where they have learnt to speak with fire.

They have learnt from us: they have observed that in this society before you attempt dialogue you need pressure and to get pressure you need chaos, and destruction.

The pattern is well established in institutions of higher education and in electoral politics. They saw it in 2007/8 and have seen it thereafter on many occasions that it brings people to the table. They know it works.

They saw IEBC demos lead to dialogue and the formation of a select committee. They watch the same news we do and read the same newspapers and live on the same social networks we do.

They see and hear our examples loud and clear.

But the point here is not to blame. What is more important; what is urgent and what is vital is that we COMMIT ourselves to setting better examples starting NOW.

Let us show them nationalism instead of tribalism; hard work not corruption.

Let us show them that we can respect each other particularly when we disagree and that it is okay to have a clash of ideas.

Let them understand there are laws, and laws need to be followed. Let them know that one is punished when they break laws. That it is painful when one breaks the law. We must BE a law abiding Nation. Most of us grew up when school authorities exercised full discipline in schools that included caning. It acted as a deterrent.

We will not UNDO the damage overnight but we cannot do nothing otherwise we will lose a generation and the one after it.

It’s not impossible. We live in a country where millions are educated…we must use this education to change the world as Mandela once said “by choosing a different way of handling our affairs.”

We do not need ‘pressure’ to listen to one another. And not everything is about tribes.

Let us nurture values such as integrity and merit. Even better, let us practice them.

We are fast heading into another election; let us use it to show that we can CHANGE and let us teach our children a thing or two about leadership, unity and decency.

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