Well, the inlaws have finally gone and I can say I am ecstatic. It was way too exhausting baby sitting 3 fully grown adults, alongside my daily chores which are too many to start with.
On to a more serious issue.
Does it not strike anyone how utterly stupid it is that the Ministry of education forces schools (unless you are one of the biggie ones with plenty of wasta- then you just just do whatever pleases you), to segregate the children from Grade 5 onwards?
The children have 3 options, a) the "G" section which is all girls, b) the "B" section which is all boys and then the "M" section which is mixed but they sit on separate sides.
When they travel on the bus, they sit where they want, and the older kids sit with the younger ones too often using language that results in your child coming home and asking you what it means.
A far more serious problem which has come to my attention recently is the case of a child (we shall call her SAM) 9 years old and on the slightly plump side.
Sam has been coming home this last week out of sorts from school, and not wanting to go to school. She is specially jumpy to get on the bus.
On much gentle questioning Sam has come up with this: according to her, the BUS CONDUCTOR has been putting his hand in her shirt and feeling her chest.
She was asked where the teachers are when this is taking place, or where the other students are. Unfortunately Sam is one of the last ones on the bus.
This has been going on for a while, and when asked why she did not report it earlier the child broke down and said she was scared. A very natural reaction to such a heinous crime. Sam has also discussed this with an older girl in her bus with whom the same conductor has been taking liberties and that (older) girl has remained quiet.
Now thankfully Sam's mother has always made Sam wear a vest so the Bastard conductor has not touched her skin. But does that really matter considering either way the whole experience has left her traumatised.
Sam's mother went to the school and had a long chat with the Principal, who said he would look into the matter. The conductor was suspended and Sam's mother had a another reassuring chat with her daughter. To make her feel safe and secure.
2 weeks later Sam came back with the news that the conductor is still working at the school, gives her odd looks, but has been taken off her bus.
Now, what happens? Sam has been instructed if he comes 3 feet near her she is to yell her head off. Should the parents insist on the removal of the Bus CONDUCTOR entirely?
But more importantly, when the MINISTRY is so hell bent on separating the children in the classes why can't they make it mandatory to have segregated buses?
In buses where the drivers are 99% male does it make sense to have MALE bus conductors too?
If our young daughters are to be traveling these buses and we are paying such exorbitant fees then why can't the least the school do is employ female helpers to be on the bus.
These are questions that need to be brought forward, and I feel sad that so many parents here, tend to be more concerned about their child being ostracised, of being rejected by other schools, of hampering their education, and being quiet or totally blind to these issues.
Why is there not a PROTECTION committee for the STUDENT body? Whom can we approach? How can we get some parents to become interactive on issues such as these where the Government is forced to sit up and pay attention. Surely its not only expat children who are specifically targeted for such abuse.
How do we protect our children?