Leadership must be ingrained in children from an early age if we are to solve the current skill gaps
By Mwangi Muchiri
The shortcomings of poor leadership manifest in every aspect of human life. One only needs to watch or listen to the national news to familiarize themselves with the sufferings of ordinary citizens brought about in part by poor choices made by leaders.
While poor self-seeking leadership is not a preserve of Kenya, it ravages African nations like a plague. A wealthy continent wallows in squalor and oscillates uncertainly under the burden of greedy, self-seeking leaders. Good leadership is what will propel our continent forward.
Personal leadership is a skill that must be ingrained in all children if we are to transform our human resources. The best time to train individuals and impart in them leadership skills is in their formative years. We will not experience critical failures if credible people of solid reputation and character learn the ropes when they are still young.
Leadership and character development must be taught as a compulsory subject to all students using tools that have been developed collaboratively for children. Training must introduce the economic principles of value addition, industrialization, sustainable growth, productivity, and money supply to children, complemented by consistent effort.
Our education system needs to be enriched with training that inculcates character development and ethics, and moral values to children in the context of leadership. Only then can we repair the weak social pillars that support the economic and political pillars of the nation. We cannot undo the bad decisions made by poor leaders in the past, but we can equip children with the capacity to make better decisions in the future.
Having a tool or weapon is one thing; knowing how to use it effectively is a different matter altogether. We must endeavor to install eagle-sighted leaders in the education sector who will lay the foundation necessary to bring lasting socio-economic transformation and prosperity to our country. Nelson Mandela saw education to be the most powerful weapon for changing the world; leadership training is what will fix the current skill gaps.
The author is the head of curriculum, leadership at Crawford International School.