My Educational Process
20 years in retrospect, I was a pupil in a community primary school in the ancient Uli land? You remember the city; the location of the defunct Biafran airport where Ojukwu took off from? In school, I was somewhat average academically, being not calm enough to earn the A grades. Well, as a stubborn and almost impossible kid, my consciousness then had not developed to think less of those naughty childish games kids play, so, it was smartness sticking a pile of books to my buttocks to soak up the fire from the cane of my class teacher as I was a habitual late comer. Scaling our dwarf class blocks was a fun way of escape at times when “neatness supervision” was to be conducted and you might want to know, we would spend the rest of the school hours in the bush finding pears or pursuing bush meats when such things occurred.
One couldn’t possibly convince me we weren’t rich because, at least, most mornings before trekking to school, I would stock my stomach with “fufu/akpu” and the usual crayfish garnished soup; not forgetting the water I would spice with palm kernels and pour into my bottle and sometimes, the roasted palm fruits I filled my school bag with which I needed to settle my stomach should it get agitated at the intervals of lessons in the class. Of course, I cared less of writing in class. Since Gloria would lend me her note, I would rather spend my precious time in class creating troubles and ridding on class chairs. My freedom in class was both a cherished gift and a necessity. I needed it so direly that I would take out an hour after closure to hang out with my little friends; after all, it was a community primary school, no parents or elders would come to take us home unless at that time when we had well overstayed that our parents would come after us with canes to drive us home. My mother was a regular visitor in this manner.
On several occasions, my mother had broken her canes on me. She couldn’t just understand why I chose to be that stubborn. So, this fateful evening after she caned me home, she demanded I show her all we did in class that day. I had never been so shocked. It was so strange. My mother that had never even bothered to ask if our teacher reported to school my whole times in the school would suddenly show interest in the third term of my SS 2 was unbelievable. Well, there was nothing to show because, that was the neatness supervision day and Gloria, my only source had gone home before we could arrive the class from the bush. My mother couldn’t get anything better than the empty notes I gave her. The beating of my life she gave me kept me away from school for a week and when I resumed, I understood I must be responsible.
How many parents know what their children do in schools especially, the public schools?