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Daily Nation : February 1st 2014
16 | Letters To the editor State decisions stifling our economic growth I am appalled by the Jubilee Government’s onslaught on small businesses. All I see are people being rendered jobless and impoverished as businesses are forced to close due to inconsiderate decisions by the government. Soon, most bars will be forced to close as the police insist on charging everyone with driving under the influence. The ban on night travel has not only rendered drivers and touts jobless, bus stop operators who used to work for 24 hours now have no jobs after 6pm. Hotels in Mtito Andei, Voi, Narok and Nakuru which used to serve travellers are closing. This cannot be Jubilee’s idea of a 24-hour economy. OMONDI OKELLO, via e-mail Kenyan children should emulate Indian settlers The purpose of speaking to someone in a language they understand best is to enhance communication. I support the government’s directive to have children up to class 4 being taught in their native tongue as this will improve their ability to grasp knowledge. I differ with those who argue that it encourages ethnic prejudice. As a matter of fact, we should encourage one another to speak our local languages as frequently as we possibly can. Third and fourth generation Indians in Kenya enjoy conversing in their dialects, whereas my own children born in Nairobi cannot speak Kikuyu, their parents’ language. Speaking one’s language has no relationship with the growth of tribalism as a vice in society. WAMAE MWANGI, via e-mail Governors should check senseless tax and levies Kenyans should rise up against county governments that are imposing senseless taxes and rates. We are already burdened by college and school fees, high medical expenses, corruption, high inflation rates, and soaring food prices. Instead of governors sympathising with the poor masses, they callously slap burdensome levies. Governors should know that the power to hire and fire them remains with the people. We thought devolution would bring good governance. MATHEW KIBE, Kahawa West, Kamiti YESTERDAY’S QUESTION Is the government doing enough to alleviate hunger? GITHUKU MUNGAI: To be fair to the government, the million acres under irrigation is a wise idea. Before that gets started and gets to fruition, the government has to move fast and deliver food to the drought-stricken areas. ANNE WANJAU: No. More people are suffering on a daily basis and this has been the case year-in, year-out. This just shows how poor Kenya is in disaster preparedness and management. BONIFACE ALINORY: No. We’ve a lot of water sources in our neighbourhoods but the government has failed to exploit it. Let the government provide water and we will grow enough food for our nation. Otherwise we’ll continue importing food. TALKING POINT Teaching local languages will help integrate Kenyan children for the proposal that will see local languages being taught in public schools. I am convinced that this proposal will have far-reaching implications in terms of value addition to our education system. I This is not the first time lower primary pupils will be taught in vernacular. I am personally a product of the same system. I recall how my class teacher used to teach us Luhya oral narratives and how we spent time analysing one of the most prolific Luhya story books, Wambani Nende Inungo. Another class teacher taught us mathematics using our local dialect. Teachers of English should not complain because this policy is not meant to do away with the English language. It would rather add value and increase the students’ ability to learn English as a second language. Noan Choamsky, the father of modern linguistics, argues that the first language a learner is exposed to has a direct impact on the learner’s ability to comprehend the second language. Our students tend to perform poorly in Eng- want to thank the ministry of Education, Science and Technology The editor welcomes brief letters on topical issues. Write on e-mail to: email@example.com You can also mail to: The Editor, Daily Nation, POB 49010, Nairobi 00100. THE CUTTING EDGE BY THE WATCHMAN MOTHER TONGUE. The new educational policy requiring pupils in the lower classes to be taught in their mother tongue is retrogressive, says Dave Mungai. He poses: “As laptops are to be introduced in primary schools, should the suppliers then be asked to provide vernacular content?” According to Dave, those behind this new directive are “living in the 1960s” and should be told it can’t work for a rapidly developing country such as Kenya. At this rate, he adds, then they should provide typewriters. His contact is firstname.lastname@example.org. ENVELOPES. Similarly stuck in a time warp, ac- cording to Dickson Ogolla, are the manufacturers of the cumbersome khaki envelopes, which one must lick to activate the glue. “Apart from the disgusting feeling, this practice is dangerous, as quite often, someone might suffer a cut on the tongue while licking the envelope. Envelopes are now made with peel-back self-adhesive flaps, and it is time the Kenyan makers also styled up.” His contact is email@example.com. RECKLESS DRIVERS. Streamlining the traffic FILE | NATION Imparting knowledge at Rabuor Primary School in Kisumu. Teaching children in mother tongue will enhance their learning ability. lish because they are taught languages by teachers who have not mastered them. Any serious scholar of language must have realised that it is Sheng, and not local languages, that impact negatively on the learning of English. KENNEDY ECHESSA, via e-mail It was encouraging to read that a new Sessional Paper requires pupils to be instructed in the language of the school’s catchment area in the first three years of primary education, before using English and Kiswahili from Class 4 to 8. Among the national goals of education is the promotion of national unity and instilling in the learners an appreciation of Kenya’s rich cultural diversity. School is the right place for these values to be instilled. Many of our children grow up without knowing a word of their mother tongue, instead preferring Kiswahili and Sheng. Such children grow up culturally rootless. The use of mother tongue in school will be one way of helping them to gain a firm cultural grounding. PETER ICHARIA, Kiambu flow in Nairobi’s central business district should begin with reining in buses and heavy commercial vehicles that are often driven at break-neck speeds, endangering the lives of pedestrians and other road users, urges Mohammed Fazal Hussein. The recklessness is evident from the many dents on the buses plying the city centre routes. How they get motor vehicle inspection certificates is anybody’s guess, he states. His contact is firstname.lastname@example.org. KIAMBU TAXES. Some of the levies and taxes proposed by Kiambu County will hurt its economic growth as they will astronomically raise the cost of doing business, warns Daniel Kangara. He cites the decision to raise the business permit licence from Sh4,900 to Sh17,000 a year. “This is not only irrational and business-unfriendly, but also lacks merit.” Daniel is appealing to Governor William Kabogo, himself a shrewd businessman, to reject the levy increases. His contact is email@example.com. STAY ALERT. A past victim of the smartly dressed Kabogo owes single women apology for disparaging remarks I disagree with Kiambu Governor William Kabogo’s recent statement that unmarried people should not be elected to office. Why he should be talking about such issues instead of concentrating on development issues beats me. I know of very many single women aged above 35 and who are very good leaders in the corporate world and even in church. They are competent, are not corrupt and can handle any issue with the weight it requires. The governor’s remarks are shocking, disrespectful and should draw the ire of all Kenyans. Marriage is not a qualifi- cation for good leadership. This is a myth that needs to be shattered. Whereas it has always been said that marriage is a sign of stability, there are many married people who are grossly unstable, irresponsible and cannot chair a cattle dip committee. There are married people in this world who were not able to raise their children in the right manner. The good character and leadership traits that one has are nurtured over time by the challenges and obstacles one meets in life. These cut across different individuals, married or not. The governor should apologise to Kenyans. ALEX MWANGALE, Nairobi DEBATE QUESTION Is the government doing enough in wake of security threats? Send your comments to mailb firstname.lastname@example.org crooks preying on matatu commuters along the Thika Superhighway, June Bonareri, says they mainly target those carrying expensive mobile phones and “often talk in codes”. The young men, will then advise other passengers to be on the look-up for thieves, and will drop some money, and if one tries to pick it up, they will lash out and in the confusion grab one’s phone and vanish. Her advice is that commuters should always be on the alert whenever a mob enters a matatu. Her contact is email@example.com. Have a watchful day, won’t you! ON THIS DATE IN 1972 COMPILED BY ANNIEL NJOKA SATURDAY NATION February 1, 2014 GUARD OF HONOUR. Attorney General Charles Njonjo inspects a pass-out parade of cadet prison officers at Prisons Training School in Nairobi. He is accompanied by the Commissioner of Prisons, Mr A.K. Saikwa (behind the AG).
January 31st 2014
February 2nd 2014