I recently read a human interest story written by my friend about a public school teacher who went out of her way to give her students the best possible learning environment she could give. Using what little of her own money, she redecorated the place and made it a proper first-grade classroom. That meant paying for the new paint, the props, the visuals and whatever else is needed to keep her lot interested in her lessons. In some cases, she even buys her students breakfast especially when she suspects them of not having had anything to eat in the morning.
Where I’m from, public school classrooms aren’t always up to par. They’re mostly dilapidated or filled to the brim with more students than is legally allowed. And in some situations, there aren’t even classrooms to speak of at all! I’ve seen teachers who’ve had to hold lessons out in the playground and SHARE the space with three other different classes. This is not an exaggeration. I’ve seen how this strategy operates and, although it’s a miracle if the students even understand the lesson what with the overlapping discussion, they just have no other choice but to make do. I’m afraid that the quality of education in my country is quite poor and with very little compensation for their efforts, it’s a wonder we’ve got any teachers left here at all!
Of course, not all schools here scrimp on quality but with many families living in poverty, most of them aren’t able to afford a better education. Scholarships are very limited and well, don’t even get me started on government funding. It’s always messy to talk about the budget because then you’ll have to talk about corruption, too.
Anyway, the reason I’m talking about this is because my friend has asked us if we had any old books we’d like to donate to the first-grade class she met a few weeks ago. And I’m so happy to report that I do! In fact, my shelf is filled with books I haven’t read in a decade while the books I now read are piling up on a dusty old table.
I’m also thinking of stopping by Booksale (a really popular secondhand bookstore here) and buying the children’s books they have lying around. I’m also planning to drop by the regular bookstores to buy coloring and activity books for the kids. She’s planning to ship our donations over in time for Christmas. I’d really like to help her out in this endeavor. I believe that it’s important for children to start developing an interest in reading as early as they can. I’m excited about making this happen.