UNIVERSITIES AND UNIFORMS

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Introducing uniforms acts as an equalizing factor and for purpose of commitment,moral and psychological balance. Students won’t have to worry about fashion but concentrate on what took them to university. Still uniforms restrict student’s freedom of expression. It’s a win-lose situation. But what happens when fake information about universities to introduce uniforms is shared.

Take the case of social media platforms. Whereas they have enabled the quick sharing of information, they have blurred the line between truth and lies. As Winston Churchill once stated, “A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.” Social media has proved him right, thanks to the global interconnection, enabling lies to travel at click of a button, and thus the rise of fake news. From bloggers to government propagandists and satirists, the truth is finding little space to thrive.

Recently, netizens fell victim to fake news in such a big way. A screenshot of the recently appointed Cabinet Secretary for Education George Magoha emerged with captions stating, “Universities to wear uniforms.” The perpetrator had edited a legit looking Citizen TV screengrab that was quite convincing to the eyes. The screengrab took for a ride thousands of Kenyans across various social media platforms. The news spread faster than wildfire and in no minute, the distinguished CS was a butt of jokes online.

The statement was an order that you couldn’t put beyond Magoha and his supposed ‘old iron dictator’ nature. The Ministry of Education was quite fast to rubbish the statement as fake news even though it had spread widely. Through an official tweet, the ministry stated: “Public must ignore this cheap propaganda on social media. CS Magoha has never said this anywhere. The photo was taken during his vetting in Parliament, where he said nothing like this. How low can malicious people get in their desperate attempt to muddy a shining public servant?” This news caused panic among the youth as much as it created a myriad of reactions both from the public and scholars.

Most people have dismissed the idea of university students wearing uniforms, but supposing it happens. We explore the issue. Grab a copy of The Outsyder in The Nairobian tomorrow to find out.

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