In Summary
  • All of us just kept quiet, dumbfounded by the unexpected turn of events especially given that whatever she was complaining about were things we did not see a problem with.
  • I learnt that as if that was not enough, she physically went to school the following week and threw an even bigger tantrum at the administration, asking them whether they knew who she was in this country.

I’m the kind of child who was nurtured to attend one institution from start to completion, only moving when the next step called.

In other words, between nursery and university, I attended one primary school, one high school and one institution of higher learning, only changing universities when it was time to further my education.

For the uninitiated, my mom was a primary school teacher who was transferred to a different school every time she got promoted, somehow she never tagged us along like I see some people do.

She had moved thrice by the time I finished Class Eight, which meant I would easily have attended three different primary schools, like a nomad scrounging for greener pastures that sometimes aren’t necessarily green.


If you ask me, it ensured stability because I formed friendships that lasted years, adapted to the environments once, and was able to gauge my abilities more easily than if I kept changing midway and meeting new sets of classmates.

It was also easy for the teachers to monitor my track record because they had seen me join as a five-year-old after confirming my right hand was long enough to stretch over my head and touch the left ear.

That in the yester years was how they measured a child’s preparedness to join school, which was uncouth because the boy with the longest arms was the perennial truant and by extension last one in exams. Story for another day.

That one-institution model is one I carried into my own parenting, deciding that my children would not move schools often unless it is unavoidable. It is also the reason I took over one year in shopping for my son’s school, and when I got what fit the qualities I wanted I did everything to ensure they enrolled him.

So far so good academically and socially. My kid has settled in so well that the thought of taking him elsewhere to begin acclimatising with environments, transport crew, teachers and systems would be a great disservice to him. But like they say, people are born different.

It was a normal parents’ day meeting and I was seated next to this mom whose daughter shared a class with my son. She donned a Manduli-type red and green head gear, glasses with huge round black frames, a green mermaid African dress and red peep toe stilettoes that thumped the tiles hard.

On her face was an inviting smile, coupled with this warmth in the manner she spoke and interacted with those of us seated around her. That woman oozed class.

We were divided into groups to discuss something about after-school clubs, and it is here that the woman started comparing this school with three others her daughter had earlier on attended. The daughter is four heading five.

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