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Childhood Memories: Boarding School Part 1

The Ugandan education system is structured that after 7 years of "grade school" at the age of 11 or 12 depending on how smart you are, would be the time to start high school.

We had to pass Primary Leaving Examinations and depending on your results you would be selected by the Crème de la Crème of high schools. I decided at  a young age that putting effort into good grades won’t be my thing, so I was chuffed to go to Nabisunsa Girls School, it was a Muslim all girls boarding school that was close to my home in case I got sent home for anything I wouldn’t need to travel far for my ass whooping. 

The excitement started on day one, the principle kicked my ass for using the washroom at night, the rationale was because the loo were so far from the classroom and the school wasn’t fully fenced so it wasn't safe to go there at night...which presented a real issue when you had to pee during prep time. We slept in dormitories which were designed like warehouses to hold the maximum amount of students, there were two entrances one on each end of the warehouse and a series of windows that were barred from inside and out.

As a student your requirement list had everything except the bed you will sleep on: at the start of the school year we had to buy: cups, plates, forks, clothing, bedding, laundry detergent ,bathing soap, books, wash basins, pencils self esteem, to name a few. All these items would soon be stolen or taken from you at some point by the older girls.

I was ecstatic to be away from home for three months straight; our daily schedule looked something like this

  1. Wake Bell( GONG of Death) 5:30am
  2. Should you choose to wake up you could do all the next three steps or skip something depending on the situation.
 A: Take shower while the bathroom was still in usable condition and the water is still flowing from the tap
B: Take you thermos to the mess hall to get hot water for tea and or porridge
C: Do your assigned portion of housework aka cleaning the warehouse)
  1. Get dressed and go to class by 7:00am for morning prep (this time was set aside for students to study in the MORNING BEFORE CLASS starts) let that sink in folks

      4 Class starts 9am.

  1. Break time 10am - 10:30am
  2. Classes continue....
  3. 1:00pm Lunch.

     8  : 2:00pm Classes resume 4:00 or 5:00pm depending on how enthusiastic your teacher was

  1. 5:00-6:00pm Free Time

     10: 7:00pm Dinner in the dining hall

     12: 8:00pm - 9pm Night Prep( more study time in class) 9pm- 10pm: Return to warehouse and sleep.

The weekend routine was similar to this minus the classes and we had to get up at 5:30am to sing in a parade before we ran around the entire school property.

After week 1 in this school, I knew I was in for an interesting first 4 years of high school….

 

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