IT IS PART OF THE GIFT
catch her as she is cetteinly going to throw herself at Miss Carol. Mrs. Kombi watches in admiration evident in that envious smile on her face.
Miss Carol: Sabena!
Mrs. Kombi: My dear! Come right in.
Sabena: [Darts into the office towards Miss Carol,
taking a big smile along] Good morning Aunty! Good
morning Mrs. Kombi!
Miss Carol: [Folds Sabena in]. You made it today!
Am I glad to see you!
Mrs. Kombi: [Comes over; bends down and caresses Sabena’s cheeks] It is good to see you my dear Sabena. I am truly happy to see you so well my daughter.
The assembly bell rings.
Mrs. Kombi: [Looks at her wrist] Oh, it is time for the
morning assembly. Miss Carol, whose turn is it on the roster to conduct the assembly?
Miss Carol: Miss Mambo. I am sure that she’s
already there. She had never been late whenever it was her turn to conduct the assembly.
Mrs. Kombi: Certainly. I am blessed with good teachers and pupils. [Referring to the teachers] They have wonderful influence on the pupils. Please take Sabena along with you to the assembly and I will be there in a moment. I have an announcement
to make to the pupils. l was looking at the registers when you came in I want to put a few things straight before I come to the assembly hall. So I will see you there Miss Carol; run along.
Miss Carol: [Rising] Thank you madam.
Mrs. Kombi: It is good to have you back in school Sabena. [Sabena nods]
Miss Carol and Sabena exit the office.
In the Class:
Thirty minutes later in the class, after the morning assembly. Miss Carol walks into the classroom and waits for the usual protocol of greeting on the third tap of the desk in practiced sequence by the class monitor. After the protocol Miss Carol sits and improvises a welcome ceremony for Sabena. An interactive session follows the ceremony before asking the pupils to submit their assignment on arithmetic. Sabena is exempt.
Class Captain: [Anxiously]. Please be quiet Class; and take your seats. Teacher is coming. Anma, please go to your seat. [Referring to Sabena] You can continue with her later. [Impatiently] Doni! I said Teacher is coming! [Threatens in a suppressed tone]
I will write your name for noise making if you don’t go to your seat now!
Doni: [Trots to herself] I am sorry. I am off to my seat. Miss Carol walks into the class and makes for her table. She stands for the usual protocol.
Class Captain: [Taps the desk].
Class: [Rise in unison] Good morning Aunty!
Miss Carol: Good morning Class.
Class Captain: [Taps the desk twice].
Class: [Sit in unison].
Miss Carol: Brussel.
Brussel: [Stands] Yes Aunty.
Miss Carol: Were you at the assembly this morning? Brussel: [Remorsefully] No Aunty.
Kent: [Pinches him surreptitiously and whispers] Fool.
Miss Carol: Kent, on your feet. Why did you do that? You pinched him because he told the truth?
Kent: [Stands up; denies] No Aunty.
Miss Carol: [Insists calmly]. You want to discourage him from telling the truth. [Addresses the Class] You see, Class, it is not only my duty to teach you the subjects but also to bring you up as good children and that includes making sure as much as it is possible, that I help you to shade unacceptable
habits and imbibe acceptable ones because of. Class: [Choruses] Tomorrow!
Miss Carol: [Continues]. And when you commit a punishable offence you must be. . ..
Class: [Choruses] Disciplined!!!
Miss Carol: [Calmly] so Kent.
Kent: Yes Aunty.
Miss Carol: Come out here ….. and face the Class. Kent: [Comes out] Aunty I’m sorry.
Miss Carol: Really?
Kent: Yes l’tn really sorry.
Miss Carol: [Hesitates] Okay. You will not be punished. But you must tell the Class what you did.
Come on, tell them. Class looks at Kent, surprise written on most faces in
wonder as to what he must have done.
Kent: [Looks down] I ……
Miss Carol: [Encourages] Yes. Go ahead and say it. And look up at the Class.
Kent: [Confesses] l pinched Brussel.
Miss Carol: Why?
Kent: Because. . . .because he told the truth.
Miss Carol: And you think that was right?
Kent: [Admits] No. I’m sorry. I won’t do that again.
Miss Carol: Class, is he forgiven? Class Yes Aunty!!!
Miss Carol: Okay, you may return to your seat. [Ken returns to his seat; she continues] You know what I am trying to teach you? Honesty; it pays. It is also decent to be honest. l spotted him… You may have your seat Brussel…. sneaking up to the class because he was late for the assembly, but he did not know that I saw him. It was quite unusual of most of you to be late, him inclusive. So, I wanted to know if he would tell the truth or take advantage of the large size of the school and say that. he was at the assembly swallowed up in the crowd. I am happy that he told the truth but do not feel the same at what Kent did. However he has apologized. You must never discourage honesty. Is that clear?
Class: Yes Aunty!!!
Miss Carol: Okay, Class. I want us to welcome formally, one of us who had been away from us for the reason of illness. We love her so much and are “happy to welcome her back among us. [Faces light up in smiles and chuckles towards Sabena]. Yesterday, I sent two of you to her home and they returned with the news that she was away from class due to illness. I visited her after school myself and was happy to see that she was already mending very well and today, she came to school and is here