Education is the future, Tanzanian children (in general) love to study and look forward to going to school but it is true that many want to have at least one meal a day. Going to school is usually an adventure in many cases because of the amount of kilometers they have to walk in many cases and because they often have to carry the water from home.

In Tanzania education starts from the age of 6, in order to go to public school they only have to have the uniform and if they want to eat at school they pay for the meal: which is equivalent to 10,000 tsh which is about four euros. In the public school they study in Swahili, the official language of the country thanks to Julius Nyerere, and they start with English as a complementary subject in primary school. When they go to secondary school, all their education is English, so on many occasions the transition from one to the other is an important challenge.

As I always say, there is no need to judge and try to understand, but when I look at the books they have at school I get a little scared… they have a subject that is my favorite: Civics in which they learn how to fry potatoes, clean… well if we look back, I think that in Spain they also learned “household chores” at school. But it shocks me so much… In science they learn what WhatsApp or Facebook is. Where do I want to go with all this? I think the changes have to come from the top, that is, an overhaul of the education system. I think there are areas that could improve a lot.

As far as education is concerned, there is a part that I am trying to understand and that is very difficult for me, although we return to the same thing in Spain the rule was used until very recently. Here it is the education of the stick or fimbo (in Swahili) that inspires the fear and respect that teachers seek, since my few experiences at coles, I usually go to visit the public that we have next to the center, but every time I go my soul breaks and I don’t know why I keep going.

I have lived situations in which the children were cleaning (OK, we go back to the same thing they do everything and we can’t judge) but the teacher sitting with the stick in his hand threatening and talking with a rather mean tone to the children. What do they get with this? That the children are afraid and repeat this behavior… Lots of times I hear older people telling the little ones that they are going to bring the stick. Look, I’ve talked to them a few times, but when I tell them about the punishments I had, they laugh, it’s very sad. Besides, for me it’s something as easy as thinking if you would like to have that done to you.

I am very wrong like anyone but I promise you that I would never attack anyone, that may be why it takes me so long to understand it. At least in Mama Kevina Hope Centre, they don’t use it anymore and I say already because when I arrived I saw it a couple of times, now they punish them by cleaning the goats or if all the children are going to have something that one doesn’t have it. We’re back to the same thing, this change has to come from above…

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