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Citizen Weekly

Monday, 16 February 2015

Vision 2030: My version, my choice



By Joseph Makuku
The government’s Vision 2030 is set and premised on fundamental clear-cut issues geared at spurring and
    accelerating economic growth for the good of citizens. These are education, health, housing and urbanisation. Others include environment, gender, children and social development set goals, and of course, youth and sports.
Fortunately, our constitution in chapter 4 addresses the same salient issues under the Bill of Rights. This is, therefore, meant to make the whole process of implementation of the vision 2030 a reality. It makes sense at this juncture to condemn any forces that may hinder the success of this noble course. In the same breath, I would like to state here that my version of the Vision 2030 may not necessarily be in tandem with that of government.
The role of education in development of a nation can not be overemphasised. It is for this reason that education is among the key components in the government’s Vision 2030 drive. It is envisaged that by that year, Kenya will be in a position to offer her citizens an education that is not only accessible and affordable but also relevant. School enrolment levels will have hit the internationally acceptable percentage. It is expected that the educational infrastructure will be up to date such that there will be no more cowdung smeared floors in our schools. This does not augur well with article 28 of the constitution which addresses human dignity. It is further expected that the working environment around teachers and their employer (TSC), will have been harmonised to avert the high frequency of industrial unrest that has become the norm. It is not clear whether there are any plans to formulate school curricular that supports industrialisation. This is where my version of the vision varies with that of the government. My take on this issue is that school curricular activities should strive to embrace general knowledge and research.
Research opens avenues into the hidden world of academia which in return aids in drawing informed decisions. General knowledge on the other hand equips learners with ideas in subjects outside their preference. It is a national shame for our teenagers to comfortably operate Ipads and yet have no slightest idea who Dedan Kimathi was. We are midstream and the gender parity in our education system has not been attained and yet Dr James Emmanuel Kwegyir Aggrey Achimota of Achimota schools, one of the leading figures in the history of education in Africa, is very candid on the benefits we stand to reap when we educate a woman.
Healthcare provision is paramount in development of any nation in the world. This is an important pillar in the vision 2030 just as it was at independence. Healthcare should be made accessible and affordable. It should address all aspects of life including child mortality, malaria, polio and even abortion. Challenges posed by the HIV/Aids scourge and cancer must be taken headon if we have to be in celebratory gear come 2030. Doctors and nurses’ plight, vis-a-vis devolution, must be put straight. Beyond Zero initiative is plausible and First Lady Margaret Kenyatta deserves accolades for her drive. My position on this is that the government should adopt this concept and fund it adequately. The one clinic and ambulance for selected counties so far given may not be enough but this is an effort worth commendable. The Sh38 billion healthcare boost unveiled by the government on February 6 is a positive starting point and put the government on the right path to combat disease and other maladies. Policymakers must, therefore, come up with medical schemes that will address the poor. Our society is highly stratified and it will not be a bad idea if the rich paid for the poor’s medical needs.
Housing and Urbanisation remains a thorn in the flesh of planners in Kenya. It is incumbent upon the government to provide shelter to the citizenry and this is why housing is a subject of the Vision 2030. Towns and cities are faced with acute shortage of houses due to influx of immigrants from rural areas. This has occasioned the sprouting of slums at rates that are uncontrollable. Buildings are collapsing due to shoddy workmanship and suspect approvals by the authorities thus negating on the gains so far made. Government can partner with other governments or individuals to put up affordable houses. I have in mind the Ambani brothers of India who have undertaken mega housing projects in Dubai. Counties can also attract investors to their areas as way of creating employment opportunities. This will go a long way in curbing rural-to-urban migration.
Eco-socio-political value of the environment is crystal clear. When a shrine in the forest like Kaya, is invaded, there is uproar. When people are evicted from a forest (Mau) to safeguard water catchment areas, politicians go for each others’ jugular. The environment, from the air, water, land and even garbage has immense economic value. I believe it is possible to impact on our youth the importance of protecting the environment by including this virtue in the school curricular. The law should be firm in dealing with people who defile the environment with impunity. This will save our balding forests. Land   remains an emotive issue in Kenya. There are individuals who are allergic to seeing open land spaces. They will do everything within their reach to grab these spaces. Land grabbing has attained cancerous levels. This scenario can not lead us to the promised land of vision 2030 a happy lot.