But not really, nothing.
School taught me how to read and write, to draw circles, to shout while counting 1- 10 and 11 to 100. Everyone had to know that I had learned the numbers, singing was a must. Actually, not singing, but rather shouting words was a must know in kindergarten. We had to sing the alphabets and numbers, and songs that made no sense to us.
‘Baa baa black sheep, have you any wool?’
‘yes sir, yes sir, three bags full’
I didn’t know how to differentiate my clothes, but school was like ‘uniform is for class and school trips’ as if former ‘and play kit for the playground.’ ‘No causal clothes, those are for home.’
And that is how I ended up with different clothes for all the different places and occasions. My parents had the responsibility of making sure I did as I was taught. There were clothes worn for playing and spending the day in and others for wearing to church and visiting relatives. Up to now I still divide my clothes, Sunday best ones, meeting the president ones and those ones I call fwaa for everyday activities.
School taught me that so long as we were all in the same examination room, we were all subjected to the same rules. We are not any better than others until we proved we could interpret and reproduce what we were taught in the term.
It taught me to reproduce knowledge provided and not analysing it, how to not ask questions, to listen and cram. Read and memorise. When I developed an interest in what I was reading and desired to know more, my father offered the needed explanations and guidance.
These things kinder follow you in adulthood, we have very many learned people on the streets looking for work because they still want to reproduce what they learnt instead of creating the jobs that suit them.
I learnt about stealing and fake friends, to liking boys and the difference between boys and girls. Got my first kiss, and felt what crushing on someone was like. (I wonder how the young man who gave me my first kiss is doing… I should look him up)
There was a lesson about equality, learnt through looking at the kind of bag and shoes one wore that would categorise on which side of the poverty line they fell. To differentiate people on grounds of appearance and their names, was a well learnt lesson.
‘That is a Munyankole,’ the teacher would say ‘don’t you see how she looks.’ There was little heard about Uganda in our appearances, we were all our tribes. Buganda, Busoga, Batoro, Bulougwala. Interesting how everyone who had a darker skin was a Luogobala
Heard about far places that sounded like they were not in Uganda. My teacher talked about them like they were foreign places. Northern and South Western Uganda were as if not part of the country. Continuously I wondered why my teacher was not proud about these parts of my country. There was no pride, no esteem in his voice as he taught. From him, I thought those areas were part of Sudan and Rwanda or even Zaire- now DR Congo- but under Ugandan control.
All this and more, was learnt and taught in Kindergarten and Primary school, and then life happened, new lessons walked in.
Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school – Albert Einstein