What teachers should have schooled us about life
While our system is one that rewards people with great memories and those predominantly driven to excel in academia- the rest of us “unclassifiables” are left to wonder what to make of it all. Once we are released from the system, worn and chewed out- we have no clue where to even begin. Most of us make it up as we go along. But we wish that we’d had a bit more guidance, a bit more readiness to face the world.
There should have been a tutorial before graduation. They should have spared no expense and even added a trial version.
But most importantly, the teachers should have outright taught us these things instead of logarithms or whatever.
How to pick the right university course
There is an alarming number of Kenyan workers who are not using their first degree. Chances are even your parents are among them. Teachers should have guided us better on picking college courses that are more aligned with our passions, our interests or how long our concentration spans are.
How to unclog a sink and other plumbing essentials
Sinks always get blocked. When that bendy thingy makes a grinding noise like an old car that refuses to start, imagine how easier life would be if we didn’t have to chase the caretaker all over the estate before finally getting a plumber who will eventually show up hours after he promised.
They should have also taught us how to deal with lack of pressure in shower heads. Or the ones that have water dripping out of them like a fanciful irrigation sprinkler.
How to find an apartment
There’s an art to this. And teachers should have armed people with the knowledge of how to deal with house agents, uncooperative watchmen, and suspicious landlords.
How to budget
Nowadays budgeting just consists of either setting up varied bank accounts for different things. Or blowing through your pay check to clear bills and buy utilities until you run out of money. All teachers ever did was encourage us to save. Unwittingly, since they controlled the hours the school canteen could remain open. They should have been a financing for beginners somewhere between Business Education and Home Economics.
How to file taxes
In math, we were taught how to calculate PAYE for an 8mks question. That was it. They didn’t tell us about Kenya Revenue Authority and how much money they expect from us even when we’re not earning money. There should even be a mandatory class for how to navigate that website.
How to register a business
Like math, when it came to Business Education, the teachers were happy to teach us the definitions, classifications, and characteristics. Sometimes, for extra marks, we were encouraged to read the advantages and disadvantages. When what really mattered is the registration process for all of them.
How to deal with government agencies
When you turn 18, we can drink, smoke and vote. That is about the limit of our privileges. After the big one eight, we have to register for a million and one things and they require a million and two things. They also require visits to offices sprawled all over Nairobi and have operating hours that are unfriendly to your working schedule. Tricks to navigating this should have been taught in school.
How to buy a car
On TV the wazungu go to big shops with equally large cars and go home with them after a brief test drive and a handshake. In reality, the process is a lot more complicated. But we had to be taught about the effects of swamp draining in land reclamation.
Reproductive health is a lot more intricate than that brief chapter in Form 3 biology. We should have been fed information about birth control, menstrual health, those odd things that happen down there that WebMD call symptoms of cancer or some disease you’ve never heard of.
Unless you were a scout or in St Johns Ambulance, you probably didn’t know much else about first aid except when someone faints put their feet up. Nowadays first response to an emergency is to put it on insta stories with a crying emoji. We should have been taught better.