An Eye Opener

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Africa » Nigeria
June 15th 2011
Published: June 15th 2011EDIT THIS ENTRY

This morning was an early start as we had to be at Steve’s house before eight to set off to the local high school. The school is owned by the King but is for the local children and children of the teachers at Olashore International School. They still have to pay but it’s much less than at OIS but still, in Nigeria, education isn’t for everyone.

We set off at Nigerian 8:00am (9:00) in a bit of a muddle as nobody seemed to know what was going on and Steve is at a conference in Lagos for a few days. Upon arrival at the school we were dumped out of the van and pointed in the general direction of the Admin block. We found the principal’s office who took Jim to chemistry, Jade to Business Studies and me to maths.

I walked into the classroom and was greeted in the usual “you are welcome” way before being handed a whiteboard marker and told to just teach whatever maths I wanted. I was there to observe the lesson, I had nothing at all prepared and I have never even considered teaching year 11 further maths! I tried to explain this and everyone seemed really put out!

Once all the faf had been sorted, I sat and watched some very dull lessons. After break once again nobody knew what to do with us so I wandered around until I found something which looked like a lesson I could watch. I have no idea what happened but suddenly a girl was yelled at, called stupid and told to kneel down on the stony ground holding her text books over her head. She was there for the rest of the lesson. A boy also got a similar punishment. It must have really hurt and their arms must have been killing. It’s really easy to judge, and I was quite shocked once I figured out what was going on. But corporal punishment is part of the culture over here and I really can’t judge the schools by my standards and morals.

After a few lessons, we were all ready to go home and I’m pretty sure that the school were ready for us to go home too. We called Jerry who sent out the driver to pick us up earlier that we’d planned. The vice principal said that she’d “expected us to teach one lesson then leave.” I’m sure that she didn’t mean it to sound so harsh. After a few pictures with the school kids and the staff we were all quite glad to get out of there and head back to Olashore.

This afternoon we’ve done a bit of planning for our lessons tomorrow and spent some time by the pool. I’m still hoping to get far more tanned but since we left the pool a few hours ago there has been a hell of a storm raging! We were planning on going to the hotel for a few drinks with a visiting prof from Lancaster Uni tonight, but we think we might give it a miss as it’s about 5 minutes walk away and we will get soaked!

Short and Sweet tonight!
Only 4 more sleeps until I’m home!

Love to all
Kate x



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