Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A girl Child and Her Dream....

She was asked by her teacher " what will you like to be in the future?". She asnwered in her 4 year old sonorous voice " I will like to be a doctor". And her teacher said "no you can't be, you are a girl and you will be a nurse, doctors are for boys'.

She got home and told her mother that her teacher had told her the truth, she is meant to be a nurse. Believe me, this is a true life story that happened a few weeks ago, in Lagos, in a private nursery and primary school and by a teacher that suppose to guide and nuture a child!

This is how so many dreams are destroyed, by mere word of mouth, wrongly spoken to inoccent hearts by uniformed adults that believe are doing the world a lot of good. This is how they make a girl-child feel inferior and lose her focus and her purpose. What are these people guiding? How do they get to be in a position of mentoring and nurturing when in truth they need to be mentored and nurtured?

If you have this unthinkable word said to your girl child, what will you do?


Jayla. said...

really that is the problem i have with teachers in naija.....Rather tha encourage you, most of them aim to take you down. I lost count of the number of times i heard teachers yell at students 'stupid girl, you will amount to nothing but following men around'.

I remember saying i wanted to be a lawyer and someone told me that if i was a lawyer men would run away from me because i would be perceived as strong-willed. Or someone telling my parents that rather than attending lessons after school wouldn't it be more productive if i spent the time in the kitchen learning how to cook since that would be my duty when i grow up.

I could go on and on but if someone told that to my child, i'll probably let loose a slap b4 i even think. Ok maybe not but at the end of the day people would say what they want and it is up to the parents to counter their negativity.

Jennifer A. said...

All these people who kill dreams...

I'll tell my daughter not to listen to dream-killers, but to be focused on any vision (whatever it is) that God has placed inside her...or given her the talent for.

Zena said...

Instill in here, that the sky is the limit, If she wants to fly to the moon, she can...the only thing that can stop her imagination is herself

I grew up in an environment where dreams were embraced, no stupid teacher will change that

Flourishing Florida said...

is this for real????? i hope the parent reported to the school authorities. for starters, daz complete falsehood what d teacher said. what is this, 1930s? am pissed.

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poeticallytinted said...

This is crazy. Reminds me of when i was a little girl in primary school. Our Social Studies teacher opened a recommended text book and read it to us. The lesson of the day was "The nuclear family". She began to read the part that enumerated the roles of the members of the nuclear family. She told us that the father's role was to work to earn a living and provide clothes and food for the rest of the family. The mother's role was to cook and tend the home. The children's role were to help their mother out in the home.

Because i was such a cantenkerous child whose parents had told repeatedly that she can be anything she wanted to be, i raised my hand and told her I did not agree because my mother also worked to earn a living. In fact, my mother always bought us new clothes. Daddy never remembered. She was angry with me. So I came home and told my folks I hated Social Studies! True life story too!

It is up to us to bring up our children the way we want them to be. The influences from home will cancel out any ignoramus' ideas out there if we do a good job of it.

James said...

Thats rather sad. I'll report it to the school authorities for sure.

Really what we instill in our kids at home might just be what will tilt them to fulfilling destiny.

Afrobabe said...

My first thought would be to slap her but I think it might be better to get the principle and parents involved...but that teacher must be sacked...

on the other hand that method will leave my kid vulnerable in their hands so maybe I'll just change her school jeje...

chayomao said...

First of all, i wld like to say that i will be GREAT one day.....it is written in the stars!
So from day one, my kids,both male and female will be encouraged to chase their dreams.... there are a lot of female role models out there.
you can do anything if you put your mind into it.....

Avartsy said...

that's a totally messed up thing to say to a young one, their minds are so easily molded when their young and saying the wrong thing could veer them off course.

At the end of the day, I think it's up to the parents' to reinforce positivity into the child whichever way they see fit...

Kafo said...

i agree on a certain level with y'all


i hate to speak for the opposition but at a certain age it is good to give your child a dose of reality.

at 4 of course not
by when u child is in their teens it doesn't hurt to tell them the truth about the struggle and that not all dreams come true.

so yeah support your child when they are young and
let them dream of being Kobe or Tiger
but at some point in their lives u need to give them a reality check

please nobody crucify mii oooooo

SoEnLion said...

Just the fact that teachers are humans and that family is the first kernel around a child make me say that dreams are not so easily destroyed or destroyable. If I were in the place of this girl's parent, I would just convince her that people don't see the world of today, but the one of so years ago and find some difficulties to adapt their way of thinking. I'll convince my child that his dream must be the most valuable thing that can guie him through his life (or until he/she gets a little bit more older) so as he/she can see the world properly...
That's my own point of view, maybe it is not well adapted with today's kids!!!

Tigeress said...

omd i cant believe this can happen in Naija. when i started reading the post i thot maybe it was a white teacher saying that to an black child. I watched a program where white career counselors had told students they wld be janitors etc.

I hope that teacher was dealt with promptly. thats just a wrong thing to wire into a girl's head at that age. The teacher definitely must be retarded for believing that herself. Sad.

Rita said...

I remember one of my teachers who always asked me to bring my writings to him to read. He said he will be the first to buy my books. To me, that is a teacher.

A teacher plays a very important role in the life of a child. It is much more than 1+1=2. Teachers are supposed to be mentors, counsellors, act like parents, guide and groom a child. Never to discourage a child.

This post clearly shows that we as parents should not leave the encouragement and counselling of our children to teachers. They could help but we need to take responsibility and ownership of ensuring our children explore their potentials and fulfil their purpose.

tobenna said...

Changing the child's school would be a no no. Because, this could happen anywhere.

What the mother should do is to ensure that the girl gets most of her education from home and not school. Spend time to build the girl up. She can become whatever she wants to become.

SHE said...

This is a really big one. In this day and age? I would have found it easier to understand if it were in the 70’s or 80’s, but not in the 21st century!
It goes to show the kind of teachers we have today. Pardon my saying so, but many of them do not have ambition themselves.
It also shows how important it is for parents to be actively involved in their children’s education.
I would discuss it with the school head and make a lot of noise about it. Taking the child away from the school would not be a bad idea, but a lot of other factors would have to be considered.

Adaeze said...

So sad, so sad. I get so discouraged, but not surprised. This is one of the biggest problems this world is facing. People need to wake up and understand what needs to be done for our children, especially girls.

downtheaisle said...

can u imagine, a teacher saying such in the 21st century. **mschew**

Its clear, parents should nt leave nurturing to the school and teachers.

The Activist said...

@ Jayla: just like you I counter a lot of these too. It was even worse with social studies. And imagine what it will mean to a child if the parents are not educated and not informed, they will think the teacher knows best.

@ Jaycee: I like this method and it will sure work.

@ Zena: lucky you. I will kill for your environment o.

@ FFF: I am not sure if the parents have done that yet. And they really need to take it up with the school. The child kept arguing with the parent that the teacher is right, see?

@ PoeticallyTinted: I feel you with the social studies thing. It was bad in my time too. The teacher was clearly not open minded.

@ Telekinesys: right step I think too, to report to the school so they should do more training for the teachers if necessary... and of course the parents role will be to make the child belief in herself.

@ Afrobabe: I will be so angry that I will want to do that but I think I will report to the school and have a meeting with the parties involved. They need to upgrade thier teachers.

@ chayoma: I agree with you.

@ Avartsy: that's my fear, the moulding stage and the fact that most kids will hold on to what the teachers tell them. But love and assurance of parents can counter all that.

@ Kafo: thanks for your contribution, I am just wondering what you refer to as reality. The fact that it's tough out there or the fact that yes, it's okay for the teacher to tell the child she can only be a nurse? I know the reality might be about how tough it is out there and that anyone can make it with determination but a 4 year old doesn't need to know how tough it is but to first believe in herself and that was what the teacher failed to do.

@ The E.T: I am sure this will work with any child. The reinforcement of faith and encouragement.

@ Tigeress: Abi o. I will love it if they can all the teacher into a meeting and let her know it's wrong to discourage her students especially those in the formative years... at least if she were older, she might have raised up her hand and query but she is sitll very young and believing her teacher.

@ Rita: you are right. I just hope we will keep havign teachers that are good at thier job because their work combined with parents will go a long way to mould a child.

@ Tobenna: You are right and I thin th school should be informed so that these doesn't become a trend. Who knows other stuff that the child will pick up. The the father and mother of the child will play their roles of encouraging their child too.

@ SHE: are you in mind head? That was my exact thought!

@ Adaeze: you are so right there. You hit the nail on the head. That means more work for all of us but we will get there.

@ Downtheaisle: it's really crystal clear. parents need to be 100% involved but I worried too about some uninformed parents. God help us.

Olufunke said...

Na wa o!
Can you imagine that!
I dont even know what I would do if my little girl comes back home with that kind of 'story'
I may even just sit on the floor and cry first of all for the state of our society
I guess the onus is on that parents to make sure that our children are properly educated and we keep on ringing in their ears they can be all they want to be and they've got it all inside , to look inwards etc.....I'm taking that as a personal challenge
'cos If I change the school, other people outside, peers, colleagues etc all have some negative things to say too ( and we really would not blame all these 'society-teachers) they also speak from the things they've grown up to believe

I had some of those 'negative' things said to me while growing up, thank God for church for the bible, I knew I could be all I wanted to be.

I also work in a male dominated profession, you hear all sorts, so I still would say, the parent has more work to do!
Nice one!

QMoney said...

Huh?in this 2009 year of our lord?????abeg oh.it is truly unthinkable.I am shocked!!!!
First,i will go and see the teacher and try to explain to her that she should wake up oh not just for my child but other kids as well.me am even an engineer by profession so i will start with myself,if she doesn't listen then the headmistress will hear and i will most likely withdraw my child from the school if the headmistress is that uninformed.infact i will need to interview teachers and headmistresses of my children's schools cos of this thing u have said
@kafo,i am an engineer oh,my younger sister is a doctor.i totally need you to explain further what u have written up there cos i just dont get it.
How does the reality of life come into play here?i dont even believe u are saying what am thinking,please don't lemme conclude on u.kindly explain further.are u saying if ur daughter wants to study engineering or medicine,u will tell her the reality if life expects her to study "catering and home management"??thank u

Black Cat said...

I agree. This is so bad because children are so impressionable at that age. I had negative things said to me by teachers and, with the benefit of hindsight, I can see that it had damaging effects on me realising my potential. I was a very sensitive child and took everything to heart, agonising over these things. There is even less excuse for teachers to speak like this in the 21st century, when, with better and faster communications, it is patently obvious to anyone who is not going through life with their ears and eyes closed that women are just as capable of becoming doctors, lawyers, engineeers, architects etc. as men! Sheesh!

Anyhoo, I'm glad you like the meerkats and kitten. Cute, ay?! My Dad emailed it to me :) xxx

aloted said...

nawa o...first of all i will reassure my daughter and then have a word with the teacher..

wat nonsense!

Blogoratti said...

Best thing would be to have a word with the school authorities...SMH
Life should never be lived with stereotyping!

Kafo said...

@ Standtall: my point exactly a four year old doesn't need to know the grim reality of determination, effort, dreams and reality. but at some point in their life they parents have to sit down with their kids and be like lets get real i have cousins who are in their 30s chasing failed dreams and their parents are blind to the fact

but yeah
i believe we are in agreement

Trybes said...

... and this is exactly why Nigeria has continued to retrogress on every sphere because you dont have teachers who can really put into the hearts of children that they can dare the odds that exist against them in life in terms of job,culture,sex,creed or religion.

In every sane society,a teacher of this sort is sent to a rehab to check his status if he's completely not lost it..It just absolutely sucks and reveals the absolute crass ass mentality displayed by people who have been placed in authority to shape the vision of a child..crude..very crude and sad!!!

Unknown said...

That was wicked... If she was suppose to be my child. I will take my kid away from the school and find a school that will nurture her dreams.

That is so bad...

The Activist said...

@Olufunke: there is a true talk there. And how are you coping in a male dominated field? I am sure you broke the barrier...

@ QMoney: U r even gentle o, I will take it to the head of the sch straight. And I was confused by Kafo statement too and with what she just said, I think she is just saying that girls can pursue any dream they like but they should know there is an alternative if things didnt go the way they expected which we cannot in anyway equate with a teacher telling a girl child she cant.

@ Black Cat: exactly in this age and time, It's sad! And ur dad is sweet to have emailed the sweet pic to u.

@ Kafo: we are in agreement if you are saying that yes a girl child can. She needs nt be stopped in pursuing her dream by wrong comments but shd be told that life might not happen in a way she want and she needs an alternative. For example she want to be a doctor, she can as well be a lawyer or an Engr....

Ms. SpicyTee: Yeah so so bad my lady. It's unthinkable.
@ Trybes: u are totally and completely right! And we need to wake up in Nigeria in all aspect to be trully progressive. Thanks 4 d stopping by.

The Activist said...

@Ms. SpicyTee: Yeah so so bad my lady. It's unthinkable.

@ Trybes: u are totally and completely right! And we need to wake up in Nigeria in all aspect to be trully progressive. Thanks 4 d stopping by.

Kike said...

This is still happening? In this day and age? Standtall, abeg when was this incident? After Obama has proven to the whole world that no dream is too big?


If I were that mother, I will follow my daughter to school the very next day, and ask to speak to that FOOLISH teacher and also the head of the school, so that they would know the king od useless people the employ.

"Doctor is for boys" my foot!

The Activist said...

@ Kike: our feelings on this are mutual. It's sad that women/girls dream in this age is still not taking seriously by some people. It's so sad

My Passion, my focus, the change that I want to see in the world - is my propellent factor.

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