Today, my principal got all worked and started yelling at my host sister, Keamo, in the staff room at school. Now, BaTswana say (themselves) that they talk loud, or “hard”, so to hear a BaTswana full out yelling at a learner was a little scary. After she left the room, I asked another teacher what that was about. Apparently the learners were protesting.
Picketing, marching, protesting, etc are extremely common in SA, and about the only way people deal with problems. I once asked another PCV why, and she said that during Apartheid, protests were the only way the black population accomplished things. And almost 20 years later, that still seems the case. Last year, the rioted in my village for a tar road, which is now being built. Our only security threat thus far was when they picketed against tolls on the highways near Jo’burg. And they learn it young.
The learners had decided to “march” against the school kitchens because they weren’t getting enough food. SA provides free lunch to all learners in poor schools like mine. But, either the money wasn’t delivered to my school this month….or it went missing, so there was not enough money to buy the correct amount of food. So the learners made a sign and were gathering in the kitchen to protest. They had received 2 slices of bread, a bit of pea soup (no potatoes, which is normal), and half an apple. They were demanding a full apple and more bread, until my principal flew off the handle and scattered the protest. But, I did not see her hit any of the kids-yay!
I think this is simply hilarious. What sixth grader in America would protest like that? And I love that my host sister is the alleged ringleader, though she is denying it. 😉