This post has been contributed by my 16 year old Ugandan daughter Christine (actually, her birth name is Christina, like mine, but she's accustomed to being called Christine - which saves a lot of confusion around here.) As I wrote in my last post, Christine left boarding school last year. She has been living at home with us in Kampala since April.
As a proud mom, I just have to mention that I only corrected one very small typo in what Christine gave to me to post - as I'm sure every reader will be, I am so very impressed with her writing style! (Bravo, my dear!)
In Uganda, most parents take their children to boarding school because they believe it is the best place for them in terms of education. I’m not a parent but I’ve been in Uganda martyrs secondary school, a boarding school for about two years and while I was there I didn’t like it that much for various reasons you will get to know. What surprises me most is that some parents take their kids to boarding school as early as when they are just six .To me it seems like they are abandoning their parental duties and paying someone else to do it for them forgetting that this someone is not going to convey equal love to a strangers child and his/her own. Therefore, I think these children end up missing out on something as they grow.
A school term in Uganda lasts three months and for someone in boarding school this means three full months away from home and the people you know well enough to always confide in them. Now that is one of the reasons that made me so glad to leave boarding because in those three very long months, the ministry of education of my country has assigned only one day when parents can come and spend ample time with their children. But unfortunately you still don’t get to go to home unless you fall really sick which means the whole point of going home is destroyed.
In boarding school I usually had a feeling that my brain was being over worked because we usually had like four hours every week day when we were out of class and the teachers strict supervision so this means that we would go to bed at about 9:30 pm or for some classes 10:30 pm and wake up at 5:00 am without fail because failure to do so was equivalent to a punishment for a given period of time. Because of this, I fell asleep during most of the classes therefore missing a lot of important information and thus getting poor results at the end of the year which is totally frustrating. But now that I’ve moved from a boarding school to a day school, I see an improvement in my academic performance and I think this is because I get enough rest.
Last year, many stories appeared in the newspapers about dormitories being burnt by unknown people for unknown reasons too and in one of the stories, twenty girls between the ages of ten and eleven lost their lives because they were locked in from the outside therefore, there was no way of escape. This made many parents worried about their children’s safety and their future as well and when I finally left boarding school I was so glad because I seriously don’t want my life to end just like that before I’ve seen the world, met many people and much more.