I happen to know a couple of teachers who work in various schools in our country. One particular one never lacks a story to narrate to me about her day. Let us call her Jackie. Jackie teaches students in the lower primary classes. Her love for children is insatiable. She has been teaching for the last 24 years and her experiences have been skewed towards the bad and good.

Recently, as the class one pupils were reporting, she noticed something strange about one of the boys in class. He stood behind the queue with his hand tucked behind his back. On his face, he had a look indicating discomfort. She asked the boy to move to the front of the queue and served him first. His hand was still hidden behind his back. She asked to see it.

What she saw was unbelievable. The hand was swollen and dark! It has a tense look. It looked like it would burst any moment if one pricked him using a needle. The boy was hesitant on saying what had happened. Jackie asked him to go back home and come with his parents. He came back minutes later claiming that his parents were busy. She even went ahead to get the parents contacts from the Head teacher’s office. It was surprising that a parent would let a child come to school alone in that state. The boy finally opened up and said that he was pricked by a metallic object in the sewerage as he was looking for one of his toys. The school, despite being a public one managed to get the child to hospital and have the infection treated. Who know if the child would have had to suffer an amputation if this was not looked into?

Yesterday she narrated another heartbreaking story. A girl reported to class one with the help of the area chief. No parent was there to bring her to school. She came to school in her home attire, having no school uniform bought yet. It has been two months later and she comes to school in the same clothes that she reported in. She barely carries any food to school and Jackie had to enrol her to the school Feeding program. Yesterday afternoon, she noticed that she was having a whitish fluid coming from both her ears, looking like pus. They guesed that maybe she was having otitis media, a form of inflammatory process in her years, originating from an infection.

The teachers do not know what to do as they are sure that the parents do not give a hoot. Probably take her to hospital on the school’s bill? Or should thy contact the area chief? Who is wholesomely in charge of children’s health, especially in public schools?

Cover photo source : https://peru.savethechildren.net

Lots of Love, 

Ruguru Kimani.