Well, yesterday was the first day of school for the third term of school in South Africa in the year 2009. And boy, were the kids excited! I mean, it’s the first day of school! Holidays have finally come to an end! We get to go back to school and do schoolwork! And there are even exams this term! I just can’t wait!
I’m afraid that the thought of going back to school did not cause major excitement for me. After all, holidays are much more fun than school. At school one is actually expected to work hard! To study, listen in class, do homework and write tests and exams. Not much fun there right?
Last year, a group of Grade 11’s from our school visited a school in the townships in order to tutor some of the matrics from that school in maths and science. We arrived at the school and were suprised to find that the schoolgrounds were spotless, although the township areas surrounding the schoolwere covered in litter. Obviously the students take pride in their school, which is more than I could say for my own school.
At the school we met the students. They have no maths or science teachers. I’m not sure whether or not each child had a textbook and workbook. The desks and chairs were obviously old. The buildings were sturdy, but plain. Absolutely no fancy frills and furbelows. However, the knowledge that these pupils had managed to accumulate through self-study and their eagerness to learn was astonishing! I doubt if I would measure up. It would be so easy to say: “It’s not my fault, I don’t have teachers or equipment. How can I teach myself maths? It’s too difficult!”
In Zimbabwe, we met people who have even less than the students I just mentioned. Government schools are in a worse condition than the aforementioned township school. Private schools cost money. Merely living costs money. There is not always food available in the shops. One of the shelters we visited were overjoyed at the sight of plain, simple flour, as they cannot get it!
Then I think of myself, unwillingly returning to school for another term of tuition from trained teachers at one of the top schools in Gauteng. I have textbooks and workbooks and unlimited research ability through internet and books. I live in a happy home. There is food in the shops.
We have so much that we can be grateful for.God has blessed us with so much.
What will your attitude be when you go to school tommorow?