Wednesday, December 9, 2009

cheap grace?


Last year we reported on Isaac's preschool graduation and wondered about the purpose of caps and gowns and graduation speakers for preschool children (preschool graduation) This year Moses graduated and we again had to wonder. Was it simply teaching the kids cheap grace?

The long day, which started late and then had 5 speakers before the designated guest speaker, was harder to take this year. What I used to be able to count as cultural experience is now simply wearing. And as I watched Moses climb across the backs of the chairs in his cap and gown and Mona Lisa pick her nose with the lace on her dress, the whole thing seemed like a huge farce.

But when the long day was over and the kids had (finally) been served lunch at 4:00, Moses told us: "I just could not stop smiling, I liked wearing that hat so much." We told him that he had to work really hard in school for the next 14 years and then he would get to wear it again and there would be further opportunities to learn and be rewarded with a cap and gown. Maybe it is worth it for that.

Every preschool in the city does the same ceremony and many, many kids have parents who never graduated from highschool. Hopefully wearing the cap and gown will serve not as an end. Hopefully it will inspire a desire to learn and achieve that will take them further and further as they realise their own potential.

Moses, Nanda, Thina, Siyamdumisa, and Ndinako with their certificates

The graduates with their teachers - Titsha Sibongile and Titsha Thethelwa

video

--anna

1 comment:

  1. "what I used to count as a cultural experience is now simply wearing." Amen to that!

    What always pained me about these graduations is that for many of the students, pre-school graduation is the one and only time in their life they'll get to wear the cap and gown because so few of them are going to make it high-school graduation. Everything's downhill from here for them and I always found that difficult to take.

    -Jesse

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