What you need to know:
- I'm not perfect, but to model honesty, I've always endeavoured to walk the talk.
- Daily, my daughter gets bombarded by reports of people getting rich through corrupt.
My daughter is a Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) candidate. This term, when schools resumed, she was in beast mode, burning the midnight oil to make good grades in KCPE.
But the baby girl's got one pet peeve. Cheaters. Exam cheaters. In preparation for the main thing, this term, they've done tons of exams. After each exam, the baby girl always gripes about several classmates who have cheated and aced the exams.
The other week, she returned home with a throbbing headache because, you guessed it, exam cheaters, who'd beaten her.
"You're too young to be having headaches because of such matters," I told her.
This attitude - of passing exams at all costs - can be traced back to the high premium and prestige that we've placed on what's supposed to be a mere formal exercise, which is meant to transition our kids to another academic level.
It's become a do-or-die exercise, with parents, students and teachers colluding to get good grades.
Honesty is the best policy
As a man, I keep encouraging my daughter by telling her that honesty is the best policy in all life's endeavours. I keep telling her that I'm not comparing her to others but to herself.
In my daughter's school, students who lead in subjects are given prizes. They're also given "Best Student" badges in different subjects, which they get to wear, till the next exam.
Some of the students who got these honours cheated. And so it appears as if dishonesty is being celebrated and awarded, while the powers-that-be are turning a blind eye to honest-to-God achievements.
Like charity, honesty begins at home. How can I tell my daughter not to cheat in her exams while she - and the entire apartment - know that I'm cheating on her mother with that strange woman who lives on the third floor?
Yeah, we're advised not to do as an authority figure does, but as they say. But still.
I'm not perfect, but to model honesty, I've always endeavoured to walk the talk so that my daughter can glean life lessons from me.
Daily, my daughter gets bombarded by reports of people getting rich through corrupt. And, what's worse - just like with exam cheats - there seem to be no consequences, at least in the immediate, for persons who steal public resources. Instead, they're living large as a vast majority barely survives in squalor.
Such images are confusing to a child, who's being told that honesty pays.
As our kids do the national exams, let's give them all the support, as long as it's within the confines of the law.
Way back when, if I returned home with an item that didn't belong to me - be it a toy or forged test scores - my old folks would raise hell. The same old school treatment should apply for cheats, in high or low places.
If we all collectively raise hell at miscreants, our nation would be a heaven on earth without caring whether they're kith or kin.