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The 8-4-4 High School Trauma

If you studied in any Kenyan high school with the 8-4-4 system, then you probably have a story to tell on how traumatizing it must have been in one instance or the other, be it from teachers, staff workers at the school or even your fellow students. A time capsule back to what might have scared you for life from studying in this education system.

high school girls
Kenya High

The Canteen.

This is the ultimate battle. With a limited amount of time, someone is expected to push through a crowded space to a small opening and request a snack. This was even worse for the juniors who would probably ask for assistance from the seniors and seniors would disappear with their money and snack.

Read more on Exposing of Toxic Kenyan high school.


After canning was abolished in most schools, teachers and prefects got creative with the type of punishments they gave. From washing the basketball court to washing a portion of slubs and even washing toilets. Usually being kicked out of class, after your exercise book has been thrown out because you did not draw the diagram was a classic.

high school prefects
Alliance Boys High School prefects


Running to class when the bell rang was normalized in most schools and failure to not would result in punishment or be seen as disrespectful. This was a favourite for most teachers on duty and prefects.

The cateress and the matron.

Depending on the school you went to, most likely the cateress and the matron are two peas in a pot when it came to making life as a student a little bit more difficult. Matrons always had the most interesting thing to say to get people to wake up or sleep when it was lights off. The cateress on the other hand was quite stiff and was probably the least friendly. You would not want to be called out by them, total embarrassment.

The 8-4-4 system was curated to train students on basic education and not real-life skills while taking the students through an emotional rollercoaster.

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