A HOT MEAL A DAY FOR 20 DAYS

JOANA

I had forgotten about the whole issue until my pupils drew my attention to it around 11:30am yesterday.

In the president’s latest update on Covid 19 and the way forward, he promised JHS 3 pupils and their teachers a hot meal a day for 20 days. That is to say from now till they write their last paper on September 14.

Unknown to me, my pupils were eager to see the fulfilment of this promise. I personally thought it was just a political talk. My pupils started looking through the window and when I asked them what was taking their attention, they told me they were waiting for their hot meal. “Waiting?” Really, they believed it and they were equally expecting it? I see. That was when I realised that some of them needed this food for their 4 hour stay in school.

Teachers on the other hand didn’t say a word. After about 15 minutes, “the hot meal” arrived in a convoy with a well dressed and a well mannered cook. I love my pupils and I wanted to know everything about the one who will feed them for good 20 days. I had a chat with the cook and my heart was at peace.

Now this is my point, teachers should take their eyes off this food and allow pupils to enjoy this meal. Some need it and if what I saw yesterday would last for twenty days, then I am happy for these pupils who will take in some carbohydrates and proteins once a day. What do some get to eat at home? No one can tell. Teachers can feed themselves. If there is anything to be done for teachers during these trying times, it certainly wouldn’t be “a hot meal” a day.

Like a friend rightly said,

” In my opinion, it wasn’t really meant for teachers. The main purpose was that students were going hungry.
I think the teacher part came in because he had to mention it. It’s like inviting a visitor to a meal of one bowl. It’s just sheer courtesy”

If there’s anything teachers have to fight for, let it be the fight for nobility, recognition and access to professional development. The tags are becoming unbearable and if care is not taken, we may wake up to a skeletal staff one day. Teaching even though not well paying, is a great calling and an amazing opportunity.

Mocking the meal and posting pictures of the food on social media platforms would not add any value to anyone and it will not stop the intervention from running.

The only profession that deals with raw human resource in their vulnerable state is no joke but who would respect the profession if some players seem not to know who they really are and the task before them?

Ambijay

Disclaimer: The meal in the picture is not the promised “hot meal.” This is someone’s lunch. Thank you

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