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Primary school education

Primary school education

There was no nursery schooling in Meru, hence the children from the village had to start their schooling with primary education at the age of 7. Sobhag started his schooling with Meru Primary School. Due to no schooling up to 7 years of age, they were learning basic things from scratch. In the modern time, children at the age of 3 are toilet trained, unfortunately for them, they would still be spoiling their clothes.
Up to the age of 12, Sobhag had only 2 khaki shorts and 2 white shirts, which were used for every occasion – Diwali, Christmas, trips & day to day activities. During those days, there was no system of buying readymade shoes from the shops, shoes were stitched by the shoe maker as per the size required. He only had one pair of shoes at a time. One day on his way back home from school, one shoe fell off from his feet while climbing onto a passing truck, he was punished by his father for losing his shoe and had to walk to school barefoot. As an addition, no assurance was given of buying him a new pair of shoes for the future. Somehow, he had to walk to school barefoot for quite a period.

For the first two years of primary school, they had no proper classroom, the classes were conducted under a tree on a good day and in the corridor in the rainy season. Everything was taught on stone slate with chalk. This may have been due to the lack of facilities available. They received their first proper classroom in the 3rd year. The uniform was shorts and a shirt for boys. The school was made of corrugated metal sheets. However late in the years they were moved into a modern masonry building. The School’s Headmaster was G C Kakkar. Sobhag was one of the brightest students in the school. IN the 5th and 6th year of school, each standard had 30 students in the class. He has always achieved the top position in the class of 30 students. One time, the result placed him in the third position, however, he found out that the headmaster had mismarked his answer as wrong when it should be right. This mark gave him a higher position in the class.

The school had corporal punishments for the miss behaviour, teachers used to pinch or whack their wooden or bamboo cane onto the hands of the student found misbehaving or making them stand outside the classroom for the whole period. In standard 5, they were given a Balpothi which contained small stories on each age. These stories were mostly based on Gandhiji.

There was no Secondary education after standard 7 in Meru, this made them travel to the nearest city which was Nairobi or somewhere else.