Boarding schools

It doesn’t matter whether it is by accident or design, but in the human species the moment a male saws its seeds and a female simultaneously absorbs them, the two specimens are by doing that obliged to take responsibility for the by-product nine months down the line.

Like many people, I read with shock and sorrow about the most recent school fire in Uganda which left five toddlers dead. I have had to take some time to sober up before being able to write objectively.

The most shocking aspect of the scanty details that were reported was the fact that two of the three identified bodies were 4 year olds – the other two having burnt beyond recognition.

In the present world, 4 year olds who have parents must live with their parents – it doesn’t matter whether they are from the more developed Northern Hemisphere or the less developed Southern Hemisphere.

The closest 4 year olds can (should) get to boarding school is in orphanages – which can be defined loosely as

institutions that house children whose parents are deceased or whose whereabouts are unknown. Even under these special circumstances, the orphanages are actually homes, not boarding school to those children.

The ages between 2 and 5 are not called pre-school, let alone pre-boarding years for nothing. This stage is critical to the development of the human species, and for that reason children must live with their parents. The children at this stage require a lot of love and attention to demonstrate that they matter, including holding, hugging and listening to them.

It is a very important nurturing stage – a stage when parents need to interact with their children by talking, singing, playing, eating, and reading with them. This enables them to grow up feeling special and important.

This is a period when children undergo a transition from babies into toddlers. The children undergo physical development, i.e. physical bodily growth and associated activities.

  • Learning to button, zip and unzip clothes by themselves.
  • Being adventurous – exploring hopping, climbing, skipping are activities that they may love to practice.

It is also a time for cognitive development particularly in relation to the development of the brain. Children start to systematically think and reason starting with the basics.

  • Learning to know different shapes and colours.
  • Developing writing and drawing skills.
  • Learning the difference between right and wrong, and to lie.
  • Understanding the concepts of past, present and future.
  • Learning through curiosity and adventure.
  • Being inquisitive and asking the why, what and when.
  • Improvement of their imagination and remembering abilities.

The children also gradually learn how to manage their feelings through emotional and social development:

  • They develop new fears especially about unfamiliar sights and sounds.
  • They learn how to share with others.
  • They learn to follow simple rules in games like “hide and seek”.
  • They are very easily influenced by what goes around them.

It is a very important stage to learning language and communication. By age 5, a child may know thousands of words and be able to carry on conversations and tell stories. Most importantly however, it is a stage when they learn listening to the explanations of others with interest, and improve in vocabulary – they can literarily easily learn any language.

Any parent who throws away all the above and takes a child to boarding school is not only totally irresponsible but a criminal as well.


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