With the Kenyan government having just ordered the closure of all private schools as well as public schools due to the teacher’s strike that is now three weeks long, students all over Kenya will be scrambling to prepare themselves for the KSCEs and KCPEs, the national exams that all students in Standard 8 (equivalent of Grade 8) and Form 4 (equivalent of Grade 12) must partake in. They are set to start writing exams mid-October.
One of the reasons cited for the closing of the schools was the insecurity that was building in classrooms as students sat idle. If the students had had material to access for their revision and studying, and a conducive environment to do so, perhaps this would not have been the case.
This is why libraries in schools play such a vital role. In Kenya, most schools do not have enough textbooks to go around, let alone revision or recreational reading material and a place to house it all. If these schools had well stocked libraries that served as a quiet place for study and inquisition, those students who wanted to continue their work despite the strike would have at least been able to do so. This is what we are seeing at the KEY Libraries we have donated, and why we would like to see our libraries in all Kenyan schools. At the end of the day, every child deserves a fair chance, and libraries are crucial in providing an equal platform to all.