Friday, May 16, 2008

I am SO angry!!!

So, the dirt is coming out on all my teachers at school. I have no idea if every other school in TZ is like this, or if its just my lucky fortune to be put into a school like this. Currently there are 12?(10 on a regular basis) teachers at my school of almost 800 students. Only 2 TZ there teach science, and the village alcoholic(and the highest paid teacher at my school) is the only math teacher....than there is me. I have the most periods of any teacher at my school at the moment, which is going ok(not super bad, not by any means super great). I'm mainly teaching the form 4's, so after this semester, my work load will be a LOT less.....There however, has been a lot of trouble at my school.....and I feel so isolated, standing up for things that I feel are right and just: some perfect examples

1) Last year, there was a lot of students pregnancy, and rumors flying around that there were a couple of teachers in particular(one for sure, but NO hard evidence)that were having sex with the of them was one of my favorite teachers. Apparently, the headmaster knew about this problem, but has done NOTHING about it-not even talking to the entire staff...because our school already has a lack of science teachers.

2) It is ILLEGAL for a teachers to 'cheat' on exams-change grades, etc. HOWEVER, I caught 3 of eh brightest form 3 students writing the Form2 exams for ALL the science classes..and the teachers told them that it was a "secret" they shouldn't tell anyone. Of course, we had to talk about what a good secret and a bad secret was....i i reported it right away to the headmistress and master....they say that it is b/c they are too overloaded! My butt! I have way more periods than they do, and I do ALL my own work! And they worst part is, that b/c we have a lack of science teachers, the punishment(up to 20 years in jail) won't be adhered to. They'll get a talking to(maybe) and that's it.

3) Everyone works on Africa time. I don't. this causes a LOT of conflict. Teachers taking the key and showing up an hour late to the office so that I can't et my materials.....and I yell at my students for being late. AND punish them. What a hypocrite I look like.....

That's all the time I have. More to come on why I'm angry:)

Saturday, May 03, 2008

why Africa is frustrating

I have just completed one of the most frusterating weeks at school...and I'm not sure if its my amount of time in the village without a break or actual real anger boiling up...but I thought I'd punch most teachers at my school right in the face! I've come up with a short list of reasons the TZ school system will NEVER work:

1) a teacher will not teach a class because the class does not greet her appropriately...instead of being week and humble when they cower and say "shikamoo" they look out the window....bad bad students....

2) teachers go to town "just for fun" instead of teaching classes for 2 weeks

3) we can't make over 100 copies in 1 day on our brand new photocopier because it "is bad for the machine"

4) teachers beat students with sticks for not picking up their exam in a timely fashion...

5) Although its been pouring rain for the past week, and no "cleanliness activities" have been done all week...students are beaten with sticks because they didn't do a good job on their morning janitorial duties and must whack the grass and sweep the dirt instead of attending class to make up for the misbehavior

6) students are late to class(specifically MY class) because they were finding sticks for the teachers to whack them with...and the first 2 flexible sticks were too small and flimsy...they had to find the really sturdy branchlike sticks deep within the forest....

7) meeting are held during school hours in KISWAHILI about really important issues so ALL teachers can understand(except the english speaking one...)and let me remind you...all students are beaten severly for not speaking english at school...and this is a room full of TEACHERS! and let me also emphasize: DURING SCHOOL HOURS...which means no teachers are teaching!

8) I have 80 students in one room. 60 desks. 55 chairs. 12 books. gaah.

9)do I really need to go on?

I have stormed out of the staff room in fury, in tears and in jubilation all within a 5 day workday. I needed a break, so I came to the city today....after helping videotape the slughter of a certain "mchusi" the chicken and eating the best burritos ever last night. I'm ready to treat myslef to a night of eating American food,watching movies and sleeping in without people knocking on my door at 7am...

I sound SO pessimistic. Its really not that bad. Its wonderful in teh village-but some weeks are more agrivating than others...and the only way to survive is to look back on it and laugh. If you can't laugh, you'll lose it here....

Thats all I got for now.