PHYSICS; THE DARKEST SUBJECT IN DADAAB REFUGEE CAMP.
No one can deny the fact that the world is changing from an agricultural based economy to more industrial based economy where science ,technology ,invention and innovation will take center stage.Infact most of the successful economies in the world today like the China ,have done well in technological advancement-there is no doubt about that! And with the current gains in Somalia, we shall need engineers, scientists, doctors, nurses and physicist.
We should acknowledge that a good number of Somalia nationals are in Kenya. More importantly they are schooling here, at Dadaab Refugee Camp and others admitted at other public school in Kenya. Therefore Kenya will play an important role in shaping the future of Somalia through these future leaders.
But there is a real challenge I have foreseen looming. We have few (negligible compared to other subjects) students taking physics in High schools in Dadaab refugee camp. Although this problem is not limited to these schools only, it is a dangerous trend. Take for example Waberi secondary school, where we have a population of about 160 students in form two. Out of these only 20 students have forwarded there names to take Physics in form three next year (2012).In Hagadera secondary school we only have three students in form three currently out of a population of about the same.
More sturningly,there is an acute shortage of Physics teachers, a challenge which is also not unque to schools in Dadaab only but Kenya and the world at large. According to Cornell University in the US, for all school subjects, Physics has the most severe teacher shortage, followed by math and chemistry. There are large surpluses of biology and earth science teachers and only 1/3 of all high school physics teachers have a degree in physics or physics education. Take for instance; there are only eight trained physics teachers for the UN run refugee schools in Daadab.
This trend has kept me puzzling. ‘Where are we headed in as far as provision of education to refugees is concerned? This is a long life question. It will require heads to roll.
As we forge ahead, let us pose this question to all the stake holders in education here in daadab, ‘what is the future of Physics as a science subject in our schools?’
JUSTUS OMONDI OLWANDE
Waberi Secondary School.
Views expressed in this article are my own and not expressed on behalf of any individual or organization whatsoever.