Titse! Did I hear it right that the schools are reopening with the possibility of our kiddos being taught over the internet? Now, this is like looking for a needle in the haystack. How in heaven’s name are we going to make this possible when some parents have not heard of the internet or are even afraid of ‘touching’ the internet like some poisonous Mamba snake? Remember that we have a lot of kids raised by Meme and Tate who come from the Ou Lokasie where the possibility of having virtual friends as we have on Facebook, Twitter and the lots is like chasing ghosts or being bewitched.
Now, we think we can make this possible with e-learning. Okay, okay, let me not be the naysayer and let’s say for the love of God we get it right and every household without means is supplied with a PC or laptop and a fast internet connection. Heaven knows where we will get such money, but what would happen in such an instance?
First of all, have we forgotten that we live with ncinas in our houses that we have been harbouring for years? Yes, how do you think all the undocumented TVs, cellular phones, laptops, iPhone s, iPads and more which have been making their way into our households that we just keep quiet about and hope that the gatas don’t show up at our doorsteps or the NBC police does not come looking for their license money?
These ncinas will have a field day I tell you because they will hardly lift a finger to get hold of these expensive devices. Willing buyers will be queuing up like guests waiting to be served vetkoekies and Sweet-Aid at some cheap wedding. The gadgets will disappear from houses and mbashus and people will start dondering each other over stolen goods, while the poor kids will be short-changed as they can’t sit in that virtual classroom. Or two households might even decide to use one pair of gadgets and sell the other for money they can divide during this hard time of lockdown. Think of how these gadgets will survive in the xramadulas or the resevate areas where people struggle with the provision of electricity and not to talk of the zula to survive for food in this land of plenty where the poor of the poorest live in unimaginable conditions. You didn’t tara nawa, my government.
Let’s go back to how these virtual classrooms will work out in case the government dish the goodies out and the ncinas stay at bay. Are the parents going to sit in the virtual classroom with the nonnas so that they can supervise them and understand the teachers’ lessons? Wena, some of these parents come from the old school of AG Louie Pienaar where corporal punishment was our daily bread and if we replace our born-free teachers with them Sjambok teachers, “Die Poppe Sal Dans.”
In the Sjambok (apartheid) time they got dondered for everything:
They got beaten for coming late to school in the morning.
They got dondered if they forgot their pen at home.
They got moered if they made noise in class.
They got lashed for failing a test.
They got five of the best for wearing a dirty uniform and unpolished shoes.
They got sjamboked for poeping (farting) in class
If they couldn’t run, jump or do certain exercises, they got hit with the tree trunk or anything the teacher could find.
If they didn’t cover their books, they got bleksemed
If they were found sleeping, eating, drinking, chewing gum or eating sweets, they got beaten up.
I don’t how many of the above situations will apply to the home-based virtual classroom, mara huuu, I can see cases of child abuse piling up at the Gender and Children Welfare Ministry – if the poor kiddos make it out alive out of those Covid-19 classrooms.
And imagine with the lockdown that has everybody jittery, I cannot imagine what the boredom can do to these old-timers. People are counting the number of spaghetti sticks in a packet of pasta or doing their hair at home, etse. But please spare our nonnas from your withdrawal tantrums and let’s make the best of this dire situation.