It is that time of the year again; streets are bustling with the excitement of clean, smartly dressed children carrying bags full of books and all heading to that fountain of knowledge we call school.
Browsing through Face book today, I saw parents and guardians proudly put up pictures of their kids in various school uniforms. There are clear signs of excitement on these young faces in quest for knowledge and rightly so. After long months at home of the just ended holidays, kids are super excited to be going back to school. Those daring the classroom walls for the first time and those going up the school ladder into form one. Some are going into clean, well structured school campuses, conducive for learning while some are going into dirty, poorly prepared classrooms; still, nothing can dampen the excitement of this first day of school.
Watching their faces, I couldn’t help going back down memory lane and suffering a bout of nostalgia. I was super excited when going to college but the thing is, even with all that excitement, I arrived the campus late.
And then, there was nostalgia when I remembered with a smile, my most loyal companion throughout my school life… the water bottle. While some discarded theirs at a certain class, I carried mine right up to high school. I was mocked at, even laughed at and called a baby because of my water bottle. But who be get their time sef? I needed to stay hydrated at all cost therefore, my water bottles followed me into each new class. The irony was that while they mocked and laughed at me, many come back to beg for water after visiting the ‘dining shed’.
As I watched the evening news, I couldn’t help feeling how things looked almost the same yet so different. Children are allowed into classrooms only after passing through security checks. There are military people stationed around school campuses especially in Yaoundé and in the Far North. Faced with the terrorist attacks in the country, it sure is a great step towards taking precautions; yet, learning seems to have been mixed with fear rather than just curiosity and the quest for knowledge.
As we cheer our future leaders back to school, reminisce about our school days and think about those marvellous teachers who contributed to mould us into the people we are today, I can only wish them a happy and successful academic year despite the uncertainties ahead.
ARREY E. AGBOR- NDAKAW