School reopening woes

He stood before the full-length mirror and looked at his reflection, then both of us burst out laughing until our eyes shed tears.

Photo credit: Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • First, we fear our young ones will be exposed to the virus because little has been done to make our institutions safer.
  • Secondly, most of us already ‘ate’ school fees. It happened when the academic year was declared null

News by the Cabinet Secretary for Education, one Professor Magoha, that students will be back in school soon could not have come at a worse time. Parents are rattled.

First, we fear our young ones will be exposed to the virus because little has been done to make our institutions safer.

Secondly, most of us already ‘ate’ school fees. It happened when the academic year was declared null and told our young ones would return in 2021.

Even bigger problem 

There’s even a more significant issue that most of us have been quiet about; school uniform. You see, when schools closed indefinitely in March, I washed and threw the outfits in my son’s wardrobe then forgot about them.

I was, therefore, jolted out of my comfort zone when the good professor made that unexpected return-to-school declaration. I quickly dashed to where I had tossed the outfits and made him try them out.

His beige trousers that once flowed from the waist down to his shoes is hanging somewhere around the shin, headed towards the knees. It looks like a long pair of shorts, which make him resemble a cockerel.

The next try was the shirt, and the story is even funnier. He looked like an overfed puppy with a tummy pushing through the fabric. As at the time of trying, he was not even full, which means the day he eats school lunch while in that shirt, he will not be able to breathe. And if he does, the buttons will pop out and fly in all directions.

He stood before the full-length mirror and looked at his reflection, then both of us burst out laughing until our eyes shed tears.

The good news is; the shoes still fit. The bad news is that they grew mould. The entire leather surface that was once shiny black is now covered in white patches. When I put the pair on the balcony to soak in some sun before the revamping process, a confused cockroach and her two babies ran out very fast. 

After taking stock of what is available against what needs to be bought afresh, I would like to report that the only thing still in perfect condition is the school bag.

The only annoying bit about this whole scenario is that I bought these outfits in January, then they were worn for two months and kept away.

Zero value for money there, and the way there seems to be a unanimous agreement that school uniform has to be sold at exorbitant prices. Now, a whole new set is needed on top of school fees.

Positive story 

But positives are arising from this whole scenario. One; that he is still alive and healthy after months of living through the pandemic is reason enough to celebrate. Some parents will not have the benefit of watching their children go back to school because the virus, or some other fatal occurrence, took the little angels away during the extended holiday.

Secondly, it means that my son has been growing this period he has been home, which is a milestone to celebrate. If he still fit everything correctly, the message would be that I have not been feeding him as well as I should.

So, it is well. I will replace what needs to be replaced; with a happy face and joyful soul. I will also be on the lookout for new parents looking to enrol their younger children in my son’s school next year, just in case one of them is willing to acquire these one’s mine can no longer wear. They are still new, anyway. 

Fellow parent, have you tried fitting your child’s uniform? 

Hillary has raised his son alone ever since he was six months old. hillarylisimba@gmail.com 

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