Blessing Schools provide affordable, holistic education services that incorporate knowledge, values and skills while focusing on the inclusion of the talented but socially or economically disadvantaged.
Operating as usual
SILENT NIGHTMARES IN SCHOOLS
Disclaimer: Naalya SSS Namugongo is a great school that has shaped several important citizens in the country and around East Africa. This is just my personal experience, just as two people can go to the same place and walk out with different views or experiences about the same place. It doesn't represent the views and experiences of everyone who studied there.
I joined Naalya SSS Namugongo in 2009 for my A-level with a subject combination of PCB/A (physics, Chemistry, Biology and Agriculture)
I arrived in the afternoon and just after I finished clearing, my parent was told to leave. The bell rang and I saw students running. I guessed that must have been the final bell for afternoon classes. I assumed since I was a new student the bell wouldn’t affect me. I was holding my bucket and blanket still wondering where my dormitory could be.
I was struck with a very terrible lash on the back, followed by a very angry voice, “why are you loitering, don’t you know it’s class time?”, He said. I had no idea who he was but guessed he was a teacher.
Amidst my tears and confusion, I said I have just arrived, I don’t know where my class is or even the dormitory to put my belongings.
He told me to take back my belongings to the clearance point and pointed out for me a class for A-level students. I was walking back, he yelled.” You can’t run or you need another beating”.I ran in tears, put my belongings down and ran back in the direction he pointed.
I entered the first class I saw and it happened to be the wrong one but I needed shelter at least until I figure things out. That was my first day and it was the least of my worries.
Luckily enough, I met one of my childhood friends, who helped around. She briefed me on how things are run and gave me a quick tour. She told me, “here they beat you and you explain later. You can be beaten by anyone, even the perfect, cook, matron, etc. When you are here you have to be very fast in everything you do”.
As A-level students, we studied most of the day. Classes could begin between 5 to 6 am depending on the teacher. In the evenings as other students break off, A-level classes continue till 6 pm which was supper time. Sometimes, another class would start at 7:30 pm during evening preps. So, it’s upon you to make time to read.
I felt I was mentally overwhelmed, things were too fast for me. I wasn’t sleeping enough and you can’t seem to find when to sleep. My anxiety levels shot up. All I had in my head was don’t have yourself beaten up.
I missed meals for almost two weeks. And this probably would continue, had it not been for the little girl who would help me and give me some food. It took me three weeks to fully settle in.
I wouldn’t call myself a dull student, but I just couldn’t concentrate, my grades never got up and yet I loved every subject in my combination.
I even tried to get help from other students, instead, they started pitting me for not making the grades. Some offered free help to explain to me the simple things that I was finding so hard to grasp.
The last time, which perhaps was my defining moment was one morning during assembly time. That day one of the school administrators was addressing the students. I had such a stubborn friend, she was always giggling or whispering. As she was at it again, I told her, “please stop! You will get us both in trouble” Just as I finished my statement, he saw me speak and walked to me. He gave me a slap that left me dizzy and momentarily confused. It made such a sound that left the whole assembly ground silent. He then dragged me by the collar and made me kneel in front of the entire school.
My already fragile confidence, went flying, I had never felt so humiliated as he did. I have never been a troublemaker in my entire life. I am not one of those chicky students.
That slap left my face swollen for the rest of the day and the marks remained for a week. And by the way, it left a lasting impact and I occasionally have trouble using that eye.
That was the first and last term I ever set foot in the school again!
To me, a school is a place where we are shaped for the future, not a dungeon for torture or a place you dread.
Parents or parents to be, students are difficult humans to deal with but it’s good to listen to them and also sometimes poor performance is not that your child is dull. There could be underlying causes at school.
To the teachers out there, you do great, and I know you go through a lot when doing your job. But beating the hell out of children or threatening them will not earn you the respect you deserve. Be a teacher every student would be delighted to meet many years after school, not one who re-ignites bad memories.
When last did you listen to your child objectively concerning experiences at school? How much background checks do you do about a school before sending your child there? Some of the low self-esteem issues people face have their roots. Sometimes, the way they are treated at school is one of them. Let's all pay more attention....
Author: _Theodorah Mary Akoth
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[08/28/20] Thanks friends for caring. We are encouraged by your likes on our page.
How to sustain learning at home
Receive greetings from Blessing Schools. From our first post we encouraged parents to position themselves to sustain learning at home. I hope some adjustments have been made where need was.
In this post, we are going to share the basics. We appreciate the anxiety parents feel when children are not at school currently. However, there are life lessons that can still be taught at home. We can use this opportunity to instill the same. Don’t underestimate these lessons. They are the lessons that will go with your child in employment, relationships, marriages… etc.
Lessons on common courtesy
Welcoming and greeting guests
Teach your children how to great people in their local language. This, I have noticed , is absent in many homes. I witness it during introduction ceremonies when groups of children and youths are ushered in to greet visitors. During such events, I don’t concentrate on the dances and dress code but the greeting . By my observation, it is sadly lacking. So, dear parents this is the future of homes, work on it.
Appreciation and apology
Train your children to say ‘ thank you’ and ‘I am sorry.’ Did you know many adults don’t have such vocabulary in their mouths and it’s part of the reason marriages and relationships are failing? Fill children’s brain and mouths with such courteous words of for even the smallest of things. Don’t allow them to skip ‘a thank you, mum or dad’ after giving them a small gift, meal, some kind of help like making a child’s bed, polishing their shoes, ironing their clothes, or grooming their toe or finger nails. Purpose that each of your kids forms this habit.
And in case they make mistakes or errors, tell them to apologize. There’s a stage when children start to dislike these words possibly age 3 onwards. They adamantly refuse to say ‘I am sorry.’ Don’t take it lightly. Push this child until they are able to say they are sorry. You are simply shaping them for future success in human relationships.
Now you have the time to check how your children behave during meals. Check those who don’t want to share or are inconsiderate of others, those who talk with mouthfuls of food, those who cannot use the words ‘Excuse me’……, ‘May I’……., ‘Will you please pass me the ………...?’ Let them learn this etiquette. Find out those who can’t wait on others. Check those who eat so fast or too slow. Discourage those who rattle the cutlery or dishes, those who make strange sounds as they sip drinks or chew food.
If bad habits are not checked at this stage, it may be difficult to change them in future ………and people with bad table manners can be irritating?
Whether you have boys or girls, all domestic chores must be learnt by either sex. Role segregation should be avoided at these early stages. Let boys, like girls learn to peel, cook, do dishes, laundry work, serve meals, grow crops , look after animals and so forth. Allow each to learn. It pays in the present and future. At such times, as a parent , guide and monitor what the children are doing and how well they do the chores. Your role should be much of a supervisory one to ensure that they learn these survival skills.
As parents, we have ideas and so do our children. Depending on the age of your children, engage them to talk over these matters. Allow their wildest imaginations to have space here. This helps you as a parent to know how they feel or think. You can discuss matters ranging from growing up to careers and employment. Listen closely to check the misconceptions they have about life.
Discourage most of the television time by deliberately advocating for games; both indoor and outdoor. If there are games you know, let them learn. I have personally taught my own children the game of scrabble. I currently appreciate their vocabulary growth and other skills like decision making and critical thinking they have so far achieved.
There are skills children pick from sending them for shopping and delivering messages or packages somewhere. Give them opportunities based on their age. Look for reporting/feedback skills, negotiation and how they practise use of courteous behavior. All the above are learning opportunities which school may skip.
Greeting to all parents.
We appreciate your continued support for our schools. We thank you for the care you have taken for our precious children since the 20th of March 2020. We know it is not easy working and managing children. The Lockdown has had , and will in the future present, bigger challenges for us as communities and nations in case we don’t continue to educate ourselves on child minding or management as parents. The writing is already in the wall that these unusual times need unusual strategies.
Most parents are focused and strained with feeding and healthcare without casting an eye on the social, spiritual and emotional development of children at such times.
As Blessing Schools, that exists to train the Head, Heart and Hands for holistic child development.
Grant us the opportunity to share from experience on ‘How to sustain Learning at Home.’ We intend to post weekly on our page and your feedback will be much appreciated.
Did you know that Parents are the first teachers on a child? Most parents claim not be teachers and that’s why the stress of living with their own children is unbecoming for these threesome or so months. First, absorb the fact that you, as a parent, are required by law to take wholesome care of that child up to--- at least eighteen years. The new normal may require us to adjust to staying with our children longer, like you experience it now. The tables have turned. Teacher – parenting, on which many parents had relied in the past, is no longer at your rescue.
What do the teachers know? It is how to raise children before they have their own. What do parents ought to know? It is how to raise their own children first.
The Missing link
Many of today’s parents were not raised in stable homes while others entered the parenting club as teenagers with hardly any assimilated experience. The result of these bad experiences is the failure to know the least on how to handle children. This is reflected in poor communication and physical violence against children by their own parents. Before a stranger harming a child, I am afraid, it may be a parent from some such home environments.
Habits to unlearn as parents
Stop using vulgar language in homes with or without children (children will pick this language and sanitize it as Mum or Dad’s).
Don’t bark at children (talk to them calmly).
Expect mistakes. You are not dealing with angels. These are kids with no experience. Expect mistakes from your children and deal with them both sympathetically and empathetically.
Don`t give your children ultimatums (If you don`t do this or that by …………………. etc.). These can act as triggers to stress and open rebellion in teens.
Stop imposing your thoughts/ ideas on them especially as they grow to teen age. Ask for their thought or opinion.
Don`t push your child to relatives unless you are with them especially in such a time.
Don’t keep quiet about what worries you and your child ( re-opening of schools, the lack of money, food, bills, debts). Depending on their age, let them know what you are battling with.
Abstain from violence against spouses and children. Restrain yourself as much as you can to save your children heartache.
Now that you are at home, don’t involve children in conversations meant for adults.
See you on our next post and please we beseech you to like our page. +256 752 638 109
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