It’s Monday morning walking along schoolyard of Makiro Primary School heading to administration office to see my wife Helen. I had many questions in my head while still laugh to myself of what I heard when she called me yesterday. She was so frustrated; no more happiness to her voice, it seems she was seriously about to quit that job; being a teacher, which she was proudly to be all the time and so happy for having a post to teach in that school near home.
Ngriiii..ngriiii.ngriiiii…my phone sounds make me stop cleaning my house and rush to pick up the phone. When I reached the phone, it was my Helen calling, a girl of my life. I was happy to have her phone at that time because I was about to tell her what I’m doing right way and share some jokes we had always.
I couldn’t add any word after my “hellow”, the voice came up from my girl was not that voice I used to. Quickly I thought there might be a very big problem to her. But before I say any other word I heard her voice bristly my ear “I’m tired baby” while sounds like crying.
I looked around my watch on the table and found it was still 9:20am in the morning. Quickly I asked myself, what makes her get tired so early this morning? Before I asked anything she adds, “Baby I’m quitting the job”. I stay silently almost a minute; softly I asked why she want to quit the job.
It’s almost two weeks since she got that position; to be a teacher; to teach in her favorite school near home. The job we looked for a long time and today she want to quit easily after working for only two weeks; what happened there?
She was seriously crying now! “Baby I will not continue to teach in this school. The class is so crowded, baby I have 105 pupils in one class and 98 pupils in other class. They want me to give them enough work every day. How will I mark all exercise books every day and how many questions should I have to give so that can be enough work for them for a day? ”
Before I say anything I started laughing and laughing to her until she laughed too. Then I asked what class are you teaching? What subject are you teaching there? Are all students’ seats on desks? What teaching methods are you using? I asked a lot of questions to her and found surprisingly many things which make me to visit the school.
She was teaching mathematics to standard III, a class of 105 pupils and she had only 18 mathematics books. This makes her to write an exercises on the board for her pupils with not less than 5 questions, mark them, make corrections and help those who doesn’t understand the lesson within 80 minutes for double period or 40 minutes single period.
Our education system is still damaged. I didn’t think of the teacher who crying of how she can do to make things works. But how about the pupils, are they learning? It is causing to feel the kind of pressure that shouldn’t be imposed on anyone.
This is how our Ministers concerning with education and those people at the ministry of education and vocational training always want this to be. No one care about the system; how and what the students study. Just schooling and no learning at all, with non-implementable education policy; they just use to kill all the dreams of our students.
Then later after all years of schooling we do proves that all future of these pupils always based on a set of criteria created by our exam boards – NECTA. The kind of a system which teach people that your best isn’t good enough, that you must constantly try harder and that one bad result makes you a failure. Success is measured by how well you remember the criteria on a given day. One set of answers will mark the difference between success and failure in your entire life.
This isn’t fair at all. The way to make sure the next generation is educated as best is to create a relaxed and enriching environment for learning to both teachers and students.
As citizen with the power and right to Vote, I think there is too no better time to act on this than now, and we have that power to change it.