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Toddlers in boarding school; is it a sign of parental abdication?

Over the news on one of the local television stations ran a story of a school proprietor cum head teacher who collapsed and died in her house.

This was not the gist of the story. It definitely could not be in a society where we literally live with death. If it is not death accruing from acts of violence, it is maternal related or caused by the infamous cancer that seems to be on a campaign to wipe humanity out of the face of the earth.

The story hinged on a fact that the deceased who ran a nursery school had locked the toddlers inside their dormitory before retiring to her own apartment for the night.

It was the cries of these little souls that attracted the attention of the neighbors the next day. Their teacher, who seemingly doubled as their matron, cook, security guard and everything a school would need had not made it to see the light of the next day.

The residents engaged police and broke into her apartment and alas, there lay the ghastly lifeless body of the head teacher. May her soul rest in peace!

The queries of the boarding school standards are an issue for another day. The mindblowing issue about this incident is, what a toddler would be doing in a boarding school?

For crying out loud, what special qualification does a parent yearn for from a toddler that calls for so much concentration that necessitates boarding school at such an age?

Gone are the days when a good education was a preserve of the urbanites. Schools have mushroomed everywhere like education is the remaining messiah that we have in Uganda. In the past, education was considered the key to success.

I am not sure if one unscrupulous Ugandan changed the padlock. Education seems to no longer give the hope it did then.

This does not in any way demerit the essence and relevance of education today. The problem comes when we willingly put our children at the altar of education, sacrificing their lives in the name of getting educated. Parenting is a role that is not delegated.  

For the convenience that comes with having no children in the home, no need to yell all the time (because we have paid someone to do it); little children are paying the price. The fact that home is the first school for the child is unchangeable.

Why then would any parent trade the opportunity to have the primary impact in their children’s life for anything? Neither career nor convenience is enough justification for such sacrilege.

As long as your child can access basic education, there is no reason whatsoever for enrolling your toddler in a boarding school.

There is nothing that explains such a decision as parental abdication. The irony of life is that for every choice, there is a consequence. If you choose to invest in the comfort of someone having the first and key role in your child’s life, also prepare for a problematic future trying to undo what was done then.

Each child needs deliberate attention in upbringing, helping them to achieve the maximum potential in life. Do not deny your child this crucial contact time in their lives, especially as they grow to understand issues of life, love and self-worth.

This is the time to weigh the available options and make the best decision, not for the convenience of now but with the future in mind. Do not also deny yourself the opportunity of writing on your child’s blank disc by pushing him/her to boarding school.

Every child is priceless, do not throw them at the vagaries of life; you could break them instead of making them.

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