Because of the state I saw Abba’s community school, I decided we would enrol Abba into the LEA primary school. So, we went on to the school with his mother. Again, I was definitely not ready for what I saw.
There wasn’t the slightest order maintained in the school. The students were all over the compound. Some, even behind the buildings. And even those in the classrooms were sitting on window sills. Chatting the day away.
The classrooms didn’t have proper windows. There were door frames without doors. The compound was something else entirely. Everything my eyes fell on, I was disappointed. Without a doubt, this school is not maintained at all.
We went into the admin office . We met two people, a stern looking lady and a gentleman wearing a shirt.
“Welcome” said the lady looking up. “How can we help you?”
I said “I am here to make an enquiry. I want to enrol this boy in school” I said pointing at Abba.
“Then you buy the form and fill. Bring two passport photographs. And pay the registration fees.”
She said immediately, trying to pull out the form.
“The total amount is ..” she related the figure.
I stood there, speechless.
She didn’t ask a single question. Not “how old is he?”, “is he well?”, “has he ever been to school, if not, why?”
All she cared, was that I drop the registration fees.
“But this boy has never been to school” I said, my voice almost shaky.
“Then that is primary one now” she said nonchalantly “we can…..”
“Yes we’ll put him in primary one kawai” the gentleman interjected
At this point, I didn’t know what to do. If I was concerned about Abba wasting his days away at the market, what difference would it make if I bring him to this school? Firstly, there seemed to be no serious activity going on. And then for someone who had always been out and about, how would he be helped in an environment where no one seemed to care what he was upto?
No I thought to myself Enrolling him here would just be a waste of time and energy.
So, what did I do next?
We went to his community school. This time, we met the other teacher. Aunty. I told her the dilemma I was in.
“You see this boy here, he used to be at the LEA primary school too, but the father brought him here because he was not learning anything.” said Aunty pointing at a boy in her classroom
“Stand up” she said to the boy “Recite ABC’s”
And he did recite, without a single mistake.
Which school shall I enrol Abba?
So, dear reader help me decide which school to enrol Abba, the school which seemed like a proper school and he would not benefit in any way, or the school or not so good-looking community school where there were passionate, dedicated individuals, ready to take his education a step higher?
Tell me in the form below. Or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you have more suggestions.
I will be waiting!