Damien started grade 10 this year, that’s the old standard 8 for us Sowff Effrikuns who are still confused by the change in labels as I am.
Now, in Sowff Effrikun schools this means the learner gets to choose a few subjects that are relevant to his chosen career- or whatever. But it’s a fairly big decision and Damien and I started discussing it early last year already. We looked at the requirements for his BSc (he wants to be a marine biologist and has for as long as I can remember) and then looked at what the school offered.
According the the Sowff Effrikun department of education, English, Afrikaans, Math and Life Orientation are compulsory subjects now, which means the learner may only select 3 subjects. They can have more if they’re prepared to work at it… now frankly, I would rather Damien could drop the L.O. and pick another subject, but these are the rules bunnies.
Damien’s choice came down to Art, Computers and Science. He cannot not do art, and the Science and Math are necessary for his BSc. And one can never go wrong with computers right? This was the discussion I remember having all through the year and this was what I filled in on the forms that went to the school.
So here’s the thing. Early this year Damien tells me (and Glugs was a witness to this exchange) that the computer classes are full and he has to take Tourism instead. I’m not terribly pleased, but I figure it’s a possibility and decide to contact the school.
Since I’m always the first to think the worst when the school calls or when Damien tells me something I try hard to believe what he tells me until I find out otherwise.
So I call the school. I am the PA secretary this year and was on the PA last year, so I know the headmaster pretty well. I ask him about the Computer classes and tell him what Damien told me. He says no, the class is actually not full enough for Damien’s grade; and that Damien has been attending the Tourism class since the beginning of the year! See, Damien still has the option to change subjects within the first few weeks of school, but I think Computers will get him further than Tourism- he can add that later when he finishes school if he wants to.
So I tell the headmaster I will talk to Damien and that he must start attending the Computer classes and not Tourism.
So Damien sends me a text to ask if I’d changed his subjects, and I tell him we’ll talk at home.
To put it shortly, I put my foot down. I am pretty “flexible” when it comes to Damien making his own decisions even if I don’t agree with them (growing his hair, piercing his ear, not tidying his room, not bathing, etc.)… but usually a mommy knows better. So I told him he will take Computers and not Tourism.
He’s not a happy camper this morning.
But I did get a goodbye, and I’m fetching him from school after work as they’re having some sports day or other today.
There Is Never An Excuse
One in three is not a statistic - one in three is a crying shame.