That thing that happened in high school that pretty much changed your life forever

Alief Hastings High School

Alief Hastings High School

I became enlightened when I sat for my first class ever in this school. This changed my life. To actually know how this happened we need to go back to my previous school and take a look first. I was entered into a private school in Oman for elementary and primary studies. This school was not that expensive and the reason I was enrolled was because they had English as the main subject and it was a Muslim school, since my parents are Muslim this was preferred.

I spent most of my study life in this school and didn’t know what education offering meant. This was what school meant. At that time internet didn’t reach us like now and I didn’t know better, even my parents didn’t. I will tell you how a day went in this school for me first. The second level bullet points would be the analyses of my enlightened brain as it became after the new school:

  • reach school in the morning by shuttles hired to transport us to school by parents
    • these were buses or mini buses which had no air conditioning, were of 1970s model yeare most probably and the drivers were just drivers with no qualification whatsoever and no ties with the school. They were very cheap.
  • once in school, set your 15 kilo bag in the class and wait for the assembly bell, when that happened, stand in line under the shade outside, in the line of your class
    • if we were late to arrive because of no fault from us, then we wait in the sun for the assembly to finish and get punished in several ways which included
      • lapping the sand filled stadium number of times the head of disciplinary committee desired
      • receiving one or several slaps from that guy
  • reading Quran starts first thing, the principal comes and talks something which I never paid any attention
  • National Anthem, sing along
  • when dismissed, all fall in lines and go to the class rooms
  • the class rooms for all classes are dedicated, so e.g. when I was in class 7 section C, I go along to room 7-C
    • not let off so easy after all, the students who are in misconduct are taken out here and taken under the sun.
    • the students not following the “dress code” of the school are taken out as well, the infringements involved and their punishments:
      • hair longer than 2 inches
        • cut the hair then and there
      • not wearing a black leather trouser belt
        • lap or slap
      • not wearing white socks
        • don’t wear any socks and lap or slap
      • shirts not tucked in
        • take off the shirt and lap
      • collar not straight
        • same as above
      • shoes not black or wearing sneaker
        • double the lap
      • shoes not polished
        • double the lap
      • neck tie not the right color
        • torture with strangle and lap
      • wearing the tie but topmost button is not fastened
        • untie all buttons and lap
      • sleeves of shirt folded
        • lap or slap
      • looking at girls (yes this was an infringement, can’t turn your head to the right side at all)
        • slapped and bad mouthed in front of girls
      • uncut nails
        • cut one or two nails with scissors used to cut the hair and a lap
  • once in the classroom wait for the class teacher to arrive
    • this usually took 20 minutes
  • when the teacher gets in all stand up and sing along “ASSALAMALAIKUM SIR/MADAM”
    • I’m not kidding here, we were forced to do that
  • when the teacher waves a hand, sit down
  • now attendance is taken with names one by one, after it’s done the class starts
    • we are also seated according to our names
  • class goes on for 45 minutes, then the bell rings
    • this is interesting as I never understood anything the teachers taught us, had to work with the book and common sense most of the times
  • not allowed to get out
    • yup never allowed to get out of the rooms except only when told
  • second teacher comes in and singalong
  • class finishes and so on it goes
  • these classes were called “periods”
  • after first 4 periods, recess happens for 15 minutes
  • in the recess or what they called “half time” you are not allowed to be inside any classroom
    • this rule was very skeptical as you are not allowed to be in the building at all in this HOT country, look up Oman and see the temperatures.
  • you have to be outside and when the bell rings get in line to get to your classroom
    • this get in line was because of the inferior old design of the building which had only 2 ways to get in and out of the building, causing the traffic.
  • 4 more “periods” go by and school is done with the final bell
  • now don’t get out and wait for the classes to be sent out one by one to relief traffic so all stand with their bags and wait for the signal
    • yes we were herded like cattle
  • get out and look for your shuttle bus
  • get dropped home at about 3PM
    • because they had to go in front of everyone’s house and drop them

Now to elaborate about this school. The quality of education was really bad. The teachers were given the jobs because of favor and not educational prowess. They treated students really bad except the ones whose parents brought gifts for them. Now those students, the ones with able parents and me not being in them didn’t understand this at that time. Those were the students who scored the highest in the class. I was involved in this scam but didn’t know at that time.

Once in a parent teacher meeting, I came to school with my parents and this maths teacher talked to them on how weak I am in studies so she would take me under her wing and tutor me at her home every night till my grades go up. So naturally my parents disappointed in me paid for private tuition at her home. When I used to get to her house, I never used to study, just play Sega Genesis or NES with her son who was a year older than me. When the next test scores arrived, my scores were the top in my class. My parents thanked the teacher and removed me from her private tutoring lessons but she said I am still not ready, still my mom is a strong person and said I would work hard now. I did. And the next test were the finals. I failed maths. my class teacher who used to teach English as a subject, asked my parents to meet her. They did and my parents found out that all my answers on my answering sheet were correct, I was failed on purpose. So this was revoked and I got my deserving marks in maths and this resulted in me being the 5th in class.

So that was a little piece of what I experienced in my old school. I was enlightened when my first class started in the new school because

  • I didn’t need to get up to sing greetings to my teacher
  • what he explained got in my head in a flash
  • he treated all very well and happily answered all my questions
  • the study material was really good
  • the school atmosphere was amazing compared to my old school
  • school provided safe buses to drop us home
  • classes were longer but felt shorter because I loved being in school and that is the goal

I realized such a big deal in just one day. The differences showed me that school shouldn’t be how my old school was.

I will put my children in the correct school which will have the correct atmosphere and quality of education and would not tolerate any ill behavior toward my children. The kind of education and school I experienced should not exist at all.

For people who wish to know about these schools, my old school is called Pakistan School Muscat, and the new one I went to is called Alief Hastings High School.

The schools are countries apart but a big difference exists in both which shouldn’t.

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