Time for School

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Assembly is over, prayers have been said, and I watch the children file into the classroom. Because it is Thursday, the day when everyone expresses national pride by wearing ‘batik’ style clothing the children are all in brightly coloured uniforms. The boys are in long dark trousers with a casual un-tucked batik shirt and no tie. The girls shuffle along in full length brightly coloured skirts with a matching knee-length long-sleeved coloured top, and the inevitable white headscarf fastened tightly under their chins and hanging loosely out over their shoulders and chests. Every child has a tiny hand-sewn patch bearing their name. The girls are constantly fiddling with their head-wear, checking that no strands of hair have slipped out by their cheeks, and adjusting the scarf so that it doesn’t slowly slide forward over their faces.

So many things are different here from teaching school in my home country. And yet when I look at the eager young faces, the task is the same.

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