LAST WORD ON UNCHANGING CHANGE O chieng was having one of those mornings where he had cause to doubt his continued commitment to the teaching profession. His students, being the lazy generation that has had Matiangi frothing at the mouth were at it again. students hadn’t bothered to understand the question and were busy answering a question which they had agreed among themselves was the question and proceeded to answer it together and hence the copy paste fiasco. Why had they not sought clarification? An essay that was to be handed in over a week ago and which they had sought extension was finally in, and to his horror he had realized that they all, except two, simply sat down and copy pasted from each other and had only re-arranged the order of the points. But Ochieng was equally worried about the cynicism and the presumption that all that was required was to just submit the essay and that any thought on their part was not necessary. This shortcut approach to life in general has become the bane of our country. The essay which was supposed to be a critical analysis on mature party politics in a democracy with examples from the African continent had been turned into a diatribe of misapplication of democracy and a near farcical description of democracy at work in Africa. Ochieng was annoyed that the ‘‘ When did the national integrity and what used to be the national moral code start going south? When did the truth become negotiable and at exactly what point did we accept double standards as the national modus operandi?’’ 94 MAL 18/17 ISSUE The dilemma is that these are students that have reached the tertiary level without having learnt to use their minds. To get this far they have had the encouragement of teachers in the lower levels to cheat and the cooperation of their parents who just wanted their children to pass exams. Ochieng had realized that the paper was answered in a similar fashion to a different but similar question that he had set the year before and someone had either stumbled on it or sought help from the seniors and simply regurgitated the answer and shared it with his or her classmates. Is this the caliber of graduates that we will be releasing to the market and what a disaster they will be when they hit the job market? Graduates with no moral compass to guide them and a penchant for the easy way out, the recipe for grand corruption. But then the realization struck Ochieng, we are not sending corrupted graduates into an innocent world, we are sending them into an already corrupt world and the question really is when and how did the rain start beating on us? When did the national integrity and what used to be the national moral code start going south? When did the truth become negotiable and at exactly what point did we accept double standards as the national modus operandi? When we talk about abiding to the rule of law we are saying that as long as we have collectively agreed that a certain law is in our statute of laws then it must be obeyed, the alternative is anarchy where we choose what we would like to obey and what we choose to ignore. The laid down procedure to challenge a law is to dispute it in a court of law to have it reviewed as unconstitutional. To that end we have a whole system of highly qualified lawyers whose job is to interpret the law and ensure it is consistent with the rights of individuals. Since reading is not an exercise that Kenyans find useful, it may have escaped their attention that we have a whole chapter six of the constitution that spells out the necessary level of integrity and moral standing that anybody seeking public office must pass. Currently we also require our political leaders to have a certain level of numeracy to fit in and understand the complexity of the offices that they are gunning for. This was a requirement to ensure that devolution succeeds and that the devolved units eventually become self-sustaining units.