I love children but I’ll never assume I am better at caring for them than their biological parents or guardians. Like our people say, you can’t love Ojo’s mother more than Ojo himself loves his mum.
That said, I was angry at the news I read days back about a school being charged to court for negligence in a case involving a two year old.
From the report, a 30 month old child in a school in Isolo was picked up by her father at 7pm (there are conflicting times of pickup time: father says 7pm, proprietor of the school says 8pm, same difference) he discovers his daughter has an injury on the right eye. He asked his daughter how she got the cut, he got no cogent response (…errm she’s two years old, sir). Anyway, according to him, neither did the proprietor’s daughter give any explanations as to how the child got the cut, she was said to have replied that it wasn’t her fault his child was injured. (The proprietor’s daughter is a teenager, she I assume is older and wiser than the toddler.)
The father was reported to have raised an alarm (I assumed from the report he was screaming blue murder) his alarm caused the proprietor’s husband to come out of the house and yell.
Long story short, father marches to the nearest police station the following day after his daughter’s class teacher was unable to offer an explanation as to why the child was injured and if any first aid was applied after the injury. The child’s teacher was arrested and a few days later, the child was given a letter of dismissal from school.
Now he wants justice!
Sad story, a two year old is at the centre of this storm. Thankfully, she’s too young to be marked by it…I hope.
First off, I think the parents are irresponsible. I know how crazy Lagos can get. I once had to work far from home and always got home late, being only able to see my kids at 6 am and later at 10 pm, after they were in bed. I know what it takes to earn a living in a city like Lagos. I have also had challenges with house helps who leave you stranded at a moment’s notice. From the report, the two year old is always the first to get to school and the last to leave. This is so wrong. Unfortunately for us in Lagos we shove our children out of the home as young as 3months old to crèches and nannies of questionable characters. So this child is another victim of our constant abuse. Her parents, who obviously have no one to help care for her while they work, leave her to the proprietor’s family, who from the report say, have no arrangements with the parents for after school care; a child as young as 2 years would normally finish school at 2pm in many private schools in Lagos. So she’s always left to her own devices from 2pm to 7 or 8pm. I think both the negligent parents and the proprietor should be shot!
Why did I add the proprietor to the line of fire? She knew the child’s parents did not sign for nor pay extra for after school care, she should have put her foot down from get go. Now that katakata don burst, she said, they didn’t pay for after school care!
Mummy, what if this child had died? Would you now claim the parents were fond of leaving her in school without proper after school care arrangements? You say you are a grandma, eskiss ma, you can’t be a grandma by half. If you truly want to be a grandma, take the child into your home, bathe and feed her, let her observe her siesta or even watch telly, she should be indoor. Not outdoor from afternoon till dusk!
And as for the parents, if you aren’t ready to care for your child, don’t blame others for the same negligence you are also guilty of. Your primary responsibility is to your child. You failed. She’s just two for Christ sake! Many young parents in Lagos have also been in your shoes and many of us took tough decisions. Decisions like quitting the job to find somewhere close to home. It meant cutting down on a certain way of life we had gotten used to; it meant moving house to somewhere smaller and affordable so we could get schools that enabled us monitor our kids; it meant one parent working and one doing something less to earn a living and provide for the kid.
It’s a sacrifice and if you can’t make it for your kid, don’t expect others to do so for you.
Wake up people!
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My sister, spoil yourself, you deserve it – Peju Akande