29 October 2009

A Reflection of Thoughts

  • Education:  Why does the idea of social promotion persist?  Is there anything that proves how or why it may still be used to pass a child from one grade to the next? Or to hold back a child’s advancements because the rest of the class is not ready?  It struck me today as strange when seeing kids of a wide range of ages walking home from school for lunch.  The age in primary school in Kenya ranges from (on what I can best estimate from my observations) six to sixteen.  Age does matter and dictates most children’s class level, but due to many factors related to poverty some take a bit longer to finish or even start.  The situation is far from ideal, but there seems to be little issue when it comes to social interaction.  In fact, children here have no problem playing with each other despite age.  Often, I see kids ages six and twelve playing together.  Families stay together and all ages spend time with each other.  Far from scientific evidence or true testing, but couldn’t the ideas behind social promotion be a constructed idea?
  • Unacceptable: The following is about a client at the SJC – First born to a sixteen year old mother and a young father who is still in secondary school.  Brought into the center late last year and a home visit was conducted in January of this year.  In the visit it was determined that food and transport assistance should be given for the health of the child.  He came consistently for a few months and began to improve with his disability and health.  Suddenly, mom stops bringing him.  The CBRW visits each month and notes the decline in the boy as he has stopped coming to the SJC.  By August he was too sick for the CBRW to do anything with the child.  It persisted with a visit at the beginning of the month.  No report was made about his condition until the CBRW meeting a few weeks ago.  It happened to be after he died from malnutrition.  Was everything done to prevent the death of this child?  I would say no and admit to feeling a heavy amount of guilt but it is mostly due to the feeling of helplessness I felt when I realized what had happened.
  • Plague: Hawks and Hornbills have made their presence very well known in Malava.  The Hornbills like to perch in the trees.  When they land their weight causes the entire tree to sway.  As a general rule, they like to share trees.  Causing the trees to sag to whatever side they choose to sit.  When in need of a new branch, they take flight with their helicopter wings that beat so heavily that it sounds as if they are engaged in a fight with the sky.  The Hawks just circle around.  Checking out a matatu as it drives up the road or making sure that I am at work.  When I went to Kisumu last week, I saw them entire way down and back.  The most sensible conclusion is that they followed me all the way down and waited to follow me back.  I admit to being a little scared.