TEACHER'S MIND: Day schools can teach street smartness

One famous writer cautions that a good writer should never live far from his subjects and he/she should strive to live their life in order to be in a position to tell their stories just the way they are.

One famous writer cautions that a good writer should never live far from his subjects and he/she should strive to live their life in order to be in a position to tell their stories just the way they are.

Any writer worth his salt should take time and think of Ryszard Kapuscinski’s advice.

The good thing is that I am not struggling to take his advice and because of this, I always get to see many interesting things that often inspire the things I write here. Just last week, I saw something very interesting.

It was in the evening hours and most people were busy trying to get after another working day.

But this is not a preserve of the working class people as students and pupils too endure the same routine. 

I found myself in a taxi and it stopped for one passenger who had reached close to his place. After realising that the taxi was delaying to resume the journey, I looked behind to see what the problem was.

Interestingly, it was just that a young school boy aged about 9 was still trying to get money to pay for his transport fare.

The trouble was that the money was not in his pockets but inside his dusty shoes. So we had to wait for the cautious lad to remove his shoes and get the money to pay. 

As the driver engaged the gears to get the taxi moving again, I found myself smiling. I was moved by what I had just seen and felt the need to share it with my readers this week.

It was also a nostalgic sight since I too was once in a day school and I had to take public transport daily. The challenge was and continues to be able to hold onto the money you are given from home without spending it on sweets or losing it.

Therefore the young boy is quite a wise one as well. And this is certainly one of the advantages of having your child studying in a day school. It offers them a chance to learn street smartness at an early stage.

In a short time, things like crossing busy roads and understanding traffic rules become so easy for day scholars. Day schooling children get to know the different streets and places in town and how to get from one place to another which is a good thing.

Of course a good number of parents prefer to have their children in the numerous boarding schools around. And we cannot blame them because day schools also have their dark side that if not checked the children simply turn into city rogues.

These people are so in touch with the urban society and so it is not rare to find some of them indulging in truancy to partake in drug taking, and other gang related acts. Some will even dodge school to meet sexual partners thus putting their lives and education in balance.

Parents therefore need to be vigilant if they have children in day schools. They need to keep a close tab on their children to for instance ensure that after school, their child goes home straight away.

Some have a habit of studying for half a day and then going home. A parent should always have a telephone number of say the director of studies to corroborate the stories given by their children.

Lastly, I wish to urge parents with children in day schools to really make an effort to teach their children the merits of being smart and presentable at all times.

Many people have observed and complained about the way most students here are often seen walking along the streets with unkempt hair, hanging shirts while others wear all sorts of clothes making it hard for an onlooker to tell if it is indeed a student or a street thug.

ssenyonga@gmail.com

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