What next after KCSE?

Mr. Victor Ochieng', Writer and Author.

When Form Fours are through with the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE), they feel free like molecules they met in Chemistry.

They let a sigh of relief and say: “Good riddance!” In the whole scheme of things, the wise ones prepare for the next phase of life.
Life happens to be a journey, not a destination.

It begins at the blissful base of birth and ends at the pensive point of death. To enhance smooth transition and access success, Form Four leavers should do some useful things.

It is also wise to shun possible pitfalls and pratfalls of life.

Before they leave the school compound, it is advisable they clear with the teachers and administration.

They should focus on mending fences and building bridges.

It is wrong to burn bridges with fellow students and school staff by thinking that human beings are akin to mountains that don’t meet and greet each other.

As Form Four leavers walk out to cope with the vicissitudes of life outside school, those aged 18 years and above should acquire national IDs, apply for KRA pin certificates and open bank accounts.

The three applications will be useful to those who will stand as beneficiaries of the government capitation, which is dished out by HELB as a source of funding for students in universities and TVET recognised institutions.

Again, opening a bank account is a breakthrough step and a giant leap of faith for lads and lasses who want to begin businesses.

Form Four leavers are not too young to commence making money.

It is advisable to get into legit income-generating activities.

Also, a Form Four leaver with a laser-like focus should open an email account and begin having correspondence with focused people in life.

It is also the right way to prepare for college life because some lecturers and tutors send notes and assignments through email.

Finishing Form Four is not the end of learning.

Actually, learning is a life-long process.

No wonder Alvin Toffler observed, “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.” 

Therefore, Form Four Leavers who are serious with life will not say good riddance!

No more rigmarole of reading, researching and writing.

For a wise Form Four leaver, this stasis from school is the best time to read self-help books for personal discovery and development.

Reading good books will boost their self-confidence and hone their communication skills.

Voracious reading habits will add glamour to their grammar.

Reading will prop up their attention and concentration spans.

Any Form Four leaver who picks reading as a ritual may end up as a better writer in future.

Reading will make them knowledgeable.

Reading dispels ignorance, which is a lack of knowledge.

Ignorance is a disease, but knowledge is medicine.

Hosea 4:6 says that people perish for lack of knowledge. Isaiah 5:13 says that people are sent into captivity for lack of knowledge. 

Consequently, Form Four leavers should focus on correct mental inputs.

The mind works like a computer, in what is commonly known as GIGO – Garbage in, garbage out.

Input equals output. They should get rid of laziness and lassitude, and consolidate mental strength by focusing on edutainment: forms of entertainment that are educative and informative.

They should make wise use of all forms of media, which shall be at their disposal.

Movies and music they choose to cherish should build their brains.

It is wrong to be idle. For there is an aphorism that says: an idle mind is the devil’s workshop.

I also think. Idle people engage in a lot of mischiefs and misdeeds.

The best way to curb such is to use the free time to engage in church activities like soul-winning missions and charitable activities.

Enrolling for a short course like Writing or Public Speaking can attract bountiful benefits.

Venturing into voluntary service is a good direction to take, for it also builds expertise, exposure and experience.

Thinking of apprenticeship is the best way to wend.

It is wise to emulate the right role models and learn from mentors with moral values.

What young people do not learn through mentorship, they learn through pesky experimentation and risky exploration.

There is an extraordinary book from the Centre of Creative Leadership titled the Lessons of Experience.

In the process of writing that best-selling book, they established that: People learn 50% from experience, 10% from formal education, 20% from failure, and 20% from mentors and coaches.

Moreover, during this hiatus, Form Four leavers should build strong relationships.

Relationships rule or ruin the world.

The young men and women should build their amity with Deity, bond better with their parents, and begin creating useful networks, which will give them net worth. 

It is also the opportune time to train talent, lift a gift and hone several skills.

Talent is an innate ability, which should be discovered, and nurtured, hence given the chance to grow and glow.

A gift is a divine-driven ability.

In 2 Timothy 1:6 apostle Paul of Tarsus charged his protégé Timothy to fan into flames the gift of God in him.

In James 1:17, we read that every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

In Proverbs 18:16, the wise man says that a man’s gift makes room for him, and brings him before great men.

A skill is an acquired ability. Or aptly put, a skill is an ability to do something.

In Proverbs 22:29, the wise man penned that a person who is skilful in his business will stand before kings, but not before mean men.

Therefore, as Form Four leavers wait with bated breath to matriculate into universities of choice and coveted colleges, they should focus on skills enhancement and development programmes.

Apart from hard skills or technical skills taught in schools, they require a beautiful blend of soft skills, employability skills, 21st-century skills, transferable skills and life skills. 

In retrospect, for the Form Four leavers to survive and thrive outside high school, it will be incumbent upon them to remain sane and sober at all times.

Form Four leavers should shun the hedonistic lifestyle of the so-called ‘parte-after-parte’.

They should avoid enlisting themselves into criminal gangs.

They should say no to drug abuse and aberrant sexual behaviour.

They should shun bad company and stay far from betting plus gambling because it is only crackpots that wait for jackpots.

In the whole scheme of things, no Form Four leaver should give up.

Whatever life presents, none should succumb to the jaws of defeat and despair.

When life gives them lemon, they should not ask for oranges, but make lemonade.

When the results will be out, they will get different aggregate grades, ranging from A to E. Whatever mean grade someone garners, the focus should be on how one can climb the ladder of life.

By and large, people experience ascension to the peak through different means.

Some use lifts. Some use elevators while some, truth be told, use the tedious staircase.

Whatever tool one uses, the focus should be on how to bolt to the top or epic peak.

If the KCSE results come, and one scoops good grades like C+ (plus) and above, well and good.

University doors will remain ajar for such a student.

It will be direct entry. Those who get Cs should not admit defeat, because we have a lot of middle-level colleges, TVETs and TTIs that will also be waiting eagerly to accept and admit students.

Those who will get D’s and E’s also have chances to go for foundational courses.

As much as we require doctors, engineers and professors, we also need plumbers and carpenters.

We need a balanced society.

What is the conclusion of the matter? There is help in hope. Hope is the rope to cling on.

Giving up is not an option. Form Four leavers should not permit KCSE results to decide their destinies.

Success in life has several determinants. Exam is just one of them.

Take this classic case. Thomas Edison in his attempts to invent the light bulb, failed 10,000 times. But he did not decide to give up.

Through patience and persistence, he managed to repair his despair.

He consoled himself with the wise words: I have not failed; I have only found 10,000 ways that won’t work.

At age 67, his entire factory was razed down by ferocious flames of fire.

Upon receiving the sad news, instead of breaking down, he just steadied his nerves and said in substance: Thank God, all our mistakes are pulverized. We can now begin more intelligently.

That is the right attitude. Winners never quit. Quitters never win.

Even in the dictionary, failure comes before success.

Therefore, as one sage said, the best way to succeed is to double your failure rate.

Winston Churchill got it right: “Success is moving from failure to failure, without the loss of enthusiasm.”

The writer is an editor, orator and author. His contact: vochieng.90@gmail.com

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Mr. Ochieng' is an editor, orator and author. His contact: vochieng.90@gmail.com


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