I thought you might like to know something about school life in Kenya, direct from one who experiences it.
This is how our school is. We wake up at 3:45am, take a shower and then go to class for the morning preps. At 6am the bell is rung and we all go to the dining hall for breakfast. At 6:20 everybody is suppopsed to be ready to start the school duties like cleaning the school. The student leaders – I am one – are supposed to make sure that all the students have done their duties.
Student leaders have the authority to punish those who fail to do, or complete, their duties at the right time. If they fail to change after the punishment they can also be forwarded to the administration. In most cases I face a lot of challenges. If I fail to supervise the students doing their duties at the right time I may have to do the cleaning myself as a punishment from the matron.
Sometimes the punishments have to be done during class time and the teacher cannot wait for a pupil to arrive so by the end of the day a lot of study time has been lost. My work is to supervise pupils who are my age mates and I have come to learn that my fellow pupils can be very stubborn. Because of this I prefer being a normal student rather than a student leader.
After all the morning duties have been done the bell is rung and we all go to our respective classes.
In our school we have forms one to four. We have only three breaks during the school day. One is for relaxing for ten minutes after we have been in class for two hours. The second is for thirty minutes when we take porridge.
The third break of an hour is when we take our lunch. The only time we are free is from 6:00 to 6:55pm and during this time we take our evening meal and wash our clothes. Then it is back to class until 10pm when we break and go to sleep.
Anyway, life is not that easy and we have to persevere a lot. If one is caught sleeping in class the punishment is to stand for the 45 minutes that the teacher is teaching. If you go to sleep during study time (which may not be intentional) the next day you will be forced to sleep behind the administration block where everybody can see you. I thank God I have never been a victim of this! The worst thing is when one fails to perform academically. One is punished by all the teachers, including the principal. Again I am fortunate never to have been punished for failing exams.
I also have my best days. On Fridays we have games like football and all students are allowed to participate in any of the games. On Saturday there is entertainment through watching television and on Sunday there is a church service which takes place in the school dining hall.
This is how life is in secondary school.