Parenting Buzz: Boarding Schools. Yay or Nay?

Article by Maureen Kasuku
Posted: January 14, 2020

The recent events of outright chaos in Kenyan boarding schools have us thinking hmmm maybe we should reevaluate this boarding school thing. Are we sending our kids to boarding schools way too early in life and that’s why they are acting up?

Also, check out this tweets on boarding schools in Kenya.

According to Nick Duffel, a psychotherapist and author of The Making of Them, who also runs Boarding School Survivors programme in the UK, children as young as six who are sent to boarding schools will develop strategic survival personalities. “On the outside, they’ll look competent and confident while on the inside, they’ll be private and insecure as they seek to reinvent themselves as pseudo-adults’’.

For many, these feelings of insecurity emanating from the separation from home, family and parental love will bear long-life effects.

So before making that life changing decision, here’s a list of pros and cons we’ve compiled: Yay or Nay help you make an informed decision.


Traditional standards. Many boarding schools, perhaps especially those with longer histories in Kenya, honour and maintain the traditions that they represent.

Close community of learners. Students join an academic community that respects learning and can be transformative.

Daily routine that invokes self-discipline and responsibility. Strict routine and independence from parents fosters self-reliance among boarding school boys and girls.

Unique social and personal development. The boarding school environment offers opportunities for personal growth and social development.

Culture of collaboration and responsibility. The boarding school environment encourages all children to learn more about how to work well with others.


More expensive than day schools– Taking your kid to boarding school has extra expenses like paying for their care package in school.

The presence of bullying and related problems. Boarding school are not immune to problems with bullying (as is often documented in the media).

Moving away from home can be very difficult. This is the biggest challenge of boarding for many students, but of course this also fosters independence and personal growth.

Boarding too young can lead to “boarding school syndrome. This is a documented problem, and parents need to be wary of sending kids to school too young or when they have not matured enough

*Take our poll here

About the author

Maureen Kasuku


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