Sunday, 23 September 2012

Sunday 23rd September – insights into school life

After my weekend with Osman and his family, I returned to the school on Saturday evening at the same time as the returning boarders and the resident teachers.  The students went straight back into their classrooms for two hours of silent study.  I have been told that there is a real ‘them and us’ about the types of students at the school.  The boarders are from remote village families.  Educational expectations for them are very low in their own communities.  They are expected to go straight from school to arranged marriages.  The day students generally come from more educated backgrounds and are more likely to go on to university and have careers.  The school wants the best education for all their students and watches with despair.  The boarders’ evening lessons are a way of trying to compensate and help these girls.

I saw this first hand today (Sunday) on two occasions.  I attended an English lesson early in the day in which I sat at the back of the class and was asked to share a textbook with a girl who had positioned herself as far from the action as possible.  Most of the class eagerly kept their hands raised, keen to take part in the lesson.  This girl showed no sign of understanding anything, never contributed and seemed very sleepy.  Afterwards the teacher explained that she was a village child.
Later on, I sat with the English teachers in their office.  A very young woman, not in school uniform came into the room.  She was returning her school books because she is going to be married very shortly and can’t continue to study.  After she had left, the teachers told me that it is an arranged marriage.  The girl really wanted to continue her education but was unable to do so.  Everyone felt very sad for her.

On the positive side, at the end of classes, when the day students are supposed to go home and the boarders rest, I was mobbed by girls wanting to talk English to me.  I think that with attitudes like these, it should be relatively easy for an inexperienced teacher such as myself to help them.

1 comment:

  1. Loving the blog, Rebecca. Could there be economic reasons for the arranged marriages?