Why The Boarding School Is A No! No! For Me
Permit me to discuss this topic from the viewpoint of a parent, an educator and a one-time boarder.
I attended a Unity school when Unity Schools were the talk of the town. In those days, if as a parent your child wasn’t in a Federal school, you would do all within your reach to ensure he/she gets in and if your child wasn’t in a Federal school, you just “couldn’t feel among”. The days when we wrote two main secondary entrance exams – Federal and State, the days when we were EDUCATED, the days when children from different tribes lived together not even understanding that we were different. The days when we had TEACHERS!
I was sent off to a boarding school as the first child at age 11. I remember that day very well. I remember my mum crying while we packed my things into the boot of the car as we got set to leave Enugu for Onitsha. My siblings by the entrance to the door of the house with mixed feelings, my little self not wanting to see tears drop from my mum’s eyes, joining in the tear flow, though eager to get to the school.
The school was far from what I thought. The moment my parents drove off, my cousin who was with me needed to report to the dining hall as she was the dining prefect. It wasn’t easy for me. I cried early the next morning when it was time to take a bath. The struggle for space to take a bath. Oh dear! Whenever I went home, I didn’t want to go back.
Was it worth it? I ask myself today. “What really was the reason my parents took me to a boarding school?”. Seeking answers from my parents, it was because the school then was known for high moral standards and sound education. My older cousins had gone there and their parents spoke good about the school.
Could these be the same reasons parents send their kids off to boarding schools these days? Speaking with a parent, her reason was – “Let me have my lone time again”. Ok yes! This is one out of the many parents I know. But really have you asked yourself why that child should be sent to “that” boarding school?
Also speaking with a non-boarder, I asked, “would you have loved to attend a boarding school if given the opportunity back then?” her answer was “yes” for the reasons that she would be more time conscious, independent and would have started praying earlier enough. Hmmmmmm….
Let’s bring it to the home. Don’t you think if we parents perform our parenting roles as we should, there would be little or no reasons to want to ship the children off to boarding schools?
Excuse number 1 – We may not be able to monitor him well to study appropriately and without distractions if at home.
Excuse Number 2 – She will learn independence at school.
My question is, at age 8/9 or 11 (as we see today), is that child ready with all the family values to be able to stand up to the negatives from external forces?
Oh yes! You may say. My child has a guardian in school. One thing we as parents don’t know is that “that” one guardian has many other children to care for and if you as a parent cannot give enough attention to your ONE child, how then would you expect “one guardian” to cater for fifteen children?
As a boarder, I had a school guardian. He was a man, and so his wife did the “guardian work”. One of the mid-term break periods, I went to collect my leftover pocket money. As a child, you would often remember how much you had after each collection. Getting to her house, she turned me back saying my money had finished. I couldn’t believe it! I cried that day like never before. You won’t also believe that having asked her to lend me some, she hesitated saying, I told a lie to get money. That experience remains fresh in my heart after twenty whole years!
Considering that experience, I can only imagine what Kaziem, the nine-year-old who died over the weekend due to mismanagement of her health by the school authorities would have gone through. I have refused to deeply imagine that incident!
As an educator who manages a school, I can stand tall anywhere to say that most teachers and staff, in general, are nonchalant about their duties. If you are an entrepreneur today and expect that business to grow without your daily input, you gotta be joking. If it works for you please do well to email me the secret!
I ask again if you cannot give your children what they need till they attain the age of accountability, who will? The Guardian? The teacher? That child was given to you to parent! To parent means to raise a child up in such a way that when he/she grows, he doesn’t become a liability to the community. It means to take care of a child.
Why my Child will not attend any Boarding School:
- They are too young to be shipped off to someone else to care for.
- No one will care for my children as I would. So as a mumpreneur, I’d rather schedule my time to suit them.
- Research shows that when a parent is involved in their child’s education, the child performs better. Practicing this with my children, whenever I teach my child a seemingly difficult topic, she understands it. And even if I don’t understand it at that point to teach, I ask questions till I understand it. This is because I know she will understand it better if I teach her.
- The schedules the boarding schools give, I can give perfectly without having to hurt my child’s self-esteem.
- My family has values, morals, and ethics peculiar to us which the children need to learn before attaining the age of accountability.
- I can teach independence without having to send them off to a different house.
- My children need to understand that family is everything. If they can learn to care for themselves as siblings, together they will change the world.
My views and reasons may be different from yours but some key questions are:
- Can the aim for which the child is shipped off to a boarding school be achieved at home?
- Will shipping the child to a boarding school cause more harm than good considering morals, values, ethics etc.
I’m a Twenty First Century Parent, I choose to parent intentionally and consciously!!!