Pick up your pen and paper, its time to relearn our ABCs and 123s. In fact, use a pencil because you might need to erase more often than not.
Because new information is always being unearthed. I mean you probably lived most of your life thinking watermelons are red or pinkish, only to find that they can be yellow too (Just me? Ok)
But the point remains, as you grow it is important to question some things. I won’t dwell much on this since Wonani wrote about it so beautifully in this post.
What I want to draw attention to is how we quick we are to make conclusions about someone’s learning capacity based on the language they don’t use. Or really their inability to read or write in something we deem acceptable. And just by that, the way we treat them sort of changes – this is what I’m truly wrestling with in this writing.
This is not something odd. I’m also slowly walking into the light. I used to frown at people who said that they didn’t read. It’s only now that I’m learning there are so many more issues that affect that process than what we were aware of. I think they said it off-handed like that so that I wouldn’t have to dig deeper into the issue and maybe, because shame is such a paralysing factor, they were better off leaving me to think it was all coming from a lack of interest than something more. When I think of it, it is silly that we used to laugh at mispronunciations or those other silly things children do in a race to prove themselves better – especially in academics. The things you do in ignorance 🤦🏿♀️.
When I was about 6, I wanted to be a teacher. I used to have mini classes with dolls and stones and use charcoal to write on the walls ( I can’t even remember if they made me clean that up). But it was a passion. I like helping people learn. But in my own biases, I thought there was a particular way to learn. I’m sure I would have been one of those strict teachers who demand for a sentence to be written in a specific way (did you ever have any of those?). If I had taught germination requires water, warm and oxygen, I would draw question marks against words like moisture, proper temperature and air. Oh well, this is just my musing.
And now I truly know better…or at least I’m learning better.
This Literacy in Uganda article highlights some issues surrounding the reading and writing ability in the country.
It is so easy to sign it off as an issue for people who have never had the opportunity to go to school. But I can see how some people could have gone through school and not have been helped as much. There are learning disabilities that sometimes are hard to put into words and children just did their best to cover it up. Conditions like dyslexia, speech and learning disorders, ADHD and possible developmental disabilities. All attesting to the simple fact that there is always more that affects one’s reality than what meets the eye.
There is a way to help that is not condescending and alienating. And though reading and writing are great skills, it would help to champion other skills portrayed to encourage the child.
Okay – there goes to day 8…Can’t believe how quickly these days roll up.