By Bildad Makori
For sure, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a step. My journey through the basic education that I have acquired is of no exception. Please allow me to walk you down memory lane as I unfold to you this epic journey that I personally have taken part in, from where it all started to where I am currently. So, we start.
I start by informing you that I am a ‘member’ of the iGen’ers generation. Just like we have the millennials who are people born from 1980’s to 1995 there is the iGen’ers or GenZ whereby it’s a group of people who are born from the year 1995 to 2012 and as for me, I was born in the year 2000. Although I began school at age 3, this amazing journey of basic education did not start there! Right from when I was able to speak, hold a pen and at least write something down, this is when I confidently say without fear or doubt that this is when I started learning this basic education.
I am quite certain that most of you say that I am wrong but just hold it right there! Let’s first of all get to know the meaning of the term basic education. According to International Standard Classification of Education that is abbreviated as ISCED, basic education comprises of primary education, which has been referred to as the first stage of basic education; and the lower secondary education which has been referred to as the second stage. ISCED goes further and says that this basic education also covers a wide variety of non-formal and informal public and private activities that is intended to meet the basic learning needs of people of all ages. .So with this explanation, we see that what I said earlier is correct! That this basic education can actually start from as early as when a child starts to talk.
When I was 3 years of age until 6 years, I clearly recall in my sharp mind that what I was mainly taught by my teachers and parents was basically writing and speaking. I can remember being taught how to write letters, numbers and words.
As from age 7 till 13, my parents more especially my mother would teach me on how to handle and manage small duties for myself. In this case, among these small things that I vividly remember being taught was how to take a bath! At this moment when I was 7 years, I would be playing around with my peers in school and at our neighborhood. It was at these moments that I got to learn that some of these peers of mine actually cleaned themselves up by their own unlike me who was being washed. For sure, I was disturbed by this matter because I never got to have an experience to share on how I bathed myself unlike how these peers of mine used to do and so it was not until one evening when I was from school than I decided to go ahead and bath myself without telling mum!
When mum discovered, she slowly taught me how to do so. It’s not that I was only taught this sole example or ‘life skill’ that I have recalled and have decided to write on, but in between those years, I was taught lots and lots of things on how to manage them single handedly without mama’s or papa’s help. Things like washing clothes, tying shoe laces and even polishing my shoes.
As from age 13 till now, I strongly attest that my education is my right especially in regard to the formal education. For a fact, it is crystal clear that the knowledge that we currently use and still need has a great influence from this formal education. Take for instance the arithmetic skills that we currently use in our day to day lives. Multiplication, approximations, algebra and the rest. Now that we know them, aren’t they of great importance to us? What if we never knew about them at all through the basic education, what would have become of most of us? Where would we have been?
As for me, were it not for all this knowledge that I have acquired through this basic education, I sincerely don’t know if I would have lived this way that am living currently and I even doubt if I could have actualized my dreams and realize my purpose in life.
As I conclude, I would like to recap what I began by saying, that a journey of a thousand miles, begins with one step. One cannot just decide to be a doctor and go start studying medicine without starting from the grassroots, with the most basic form, which at times seems valueless. In the same way that a baby cannot be born and start walking then.
We ought to value basic education a great deal! This is because it is for sure part of our education. It is my education and so it is my right! Everyone is entitled to it. No one is to be denied this essential right called right to education!