Tuesday, 28 March 2017

The school of education

Now that I've started a new day job at International Alert, I finally decided to start Kavita's educational career. 

For quite a while, I've been resisting school. One never gives these things much thought until one is faced with the situation itself. I remember when Kavita was hardly a year old, some ladies I met with children the same age as Kavita were looking for day care centres. I suppose I was a little judgement al with these ladies because they were "housewives" and I thought if they aren't out of the house, then the child should stay with the mother. Their rationale wasn't clear but at least one person I met said she wanted her child to learn socialisation which I found rather odd. 

I've also heard that because the zamana is so different and "fast" that children need to start early. This was the most irritating rationale for starting school early. What the heck can a 1 year old child learn that you think will help them win the human rat race? 

Kavita has grown up at the office. She used to sleep right on my desk next to my calculator at NATC. She has grown up going every day to the office and, coming back home with me in the evening. I baby-fied my office and, kept adapting my space to her: crib, toys, a special dresser for extra clothes and nappies, crayons, and even a tent. 

I did not realise how confident, well spoken and mature a child Kavita was until I would meet other children who were terrified of strangers. Kavita has been so easy around adults although she's very shy of kids.

And, since I had the privilege of running my own company, Kavita and I have been inseparable. This hasn't forced me to think about the challenges working women face in bearing children and then coming back to work. Putting Kavita in school wasn't my priority until she was of an age I remembered I was at when I started kindergarten.

Kavita has briefly experienced a formal school setting: while I was at Mercy Corps Liberia in 2015, she was in a day care for a couple of months. Then last year in 2016 she attended the month-long summer camp at the Cachelle Arts Center.

Most times I've been busy reacting haughtily to children with iPads and phones and, preaching about my idyllic and simple childhood. Mostly, I go on and on about how schooling is so commercialised. That there aren't any good public schools (either in Pakistan or Liberia) and there's class issue when it comes to equal and good education. That because private schools are just out there to make money, upper middle classes have no problem in increasingly reducing the age in which a baby is dumped in day care or pre school. Then, I would vaguely reference articles I had read about how fantastic the Finn school system is and, in fact, they are so progressive and have learned that children should start school at 7 and, should learn by play rather than rote.

I was quite smug in my little world where Kavita was learning about life, the world through her time at our family business, her life in Monrovia, and, my attention.

When I started my new stint at International Alert, Haresh and I decided to start Kavita's school at Kid's Nest, which is 2 minutes away from my office in Congo Town.

So, Kavita started school and guess what, she loves it? Children want to be with other children. 

1 comment:

  1. Hi there,
    hope to not to bother you, we are Mark and Stefy, two Italian backpackers!
    We are trying to do a project about the unity of the world through the philately, this romantic “philosophy” that is going to get lost in the course of the time.

    We have created this page: http://www.born2travel.it/postcards%20eng.html

    and this facebook one: https://www.facebook.com/Born2travelit/

    where we collect one "philatelic witness" of each single country of the world, even the smallest and most unknown ones.
    Do you think you could help us sending one postcard from there?
    We would appreciate it soooo much.
    As soon as we get it, we would publish it on this page: http://www.born2travel.it/postcards%20eng.html with your name.

    Please let us know and if you can help us out, we would be so thankful, moreover, if you want, we could also send you one from Italy to thank you.

    Thanks in advance and looking forward to hearing from you soon

    Mark and Stefy