By Angel Nuñez
School is school and you can assume that it is the same everyday and everywhere, but is it? Indeed there are marked differences of school today and Years Ago in San Pedro. Let’s take a peek.
There are approximately eight subject periods scheduled each day but have you heard of a subject called “Sleeping Period” given half an hour every day? Every day at about 1:30 in the afternoon when the bell rang, the Beginners Class teacher would announce to the infants that it was sleeping period. The children were required to lay their heads on their arms which were on the desk, close their eyes and go to sleep for half an hour. Many of the infants took their nap but some simply played under the desks. Of course the teacher supervised and was there to ensure that everyone got this required nap in the afternoon.
HOT JOHNNY CAKES:
Today it is all about junk food for recess at ten a.m. Not so Years Ago in San Pedro! Parents were given flour each day on a rotation basis and they baked delicious Johnny cakes and buttered them for the kids to enjoy for recess. This was complemented with a glass of milk prepared in a bucket by the teachers for recess. The flour and the milk were all provided by the government of Belize under the auspices of Care organization.
Not only was there a subject called Religion in which the doctrine of Catholicism was taught, but there was also a subject called Child’s Bible History. Children loved hearing stories of the Old Testament and the New Testament especially looking at pictures pertaining to the stories. Along with the reading books, this was one of the few books that was illustrated. Sadly today we are missing out on these Biblical references which are very important in the formation of character and morals in children’s lives.
Ears: Today teachers check their students whether they are chewing gum or have their fingernails painted. Be surprised now with the checkups we got in our primary school days. There was a periodical check on ears. This was a simple visual check, and if pretty dirty, the child was advised to take care of his personal hygiene.
Very periodically and sometimes twice a week, there was a spot check on fingernails. A simple look at them and the teacher would be whacking our fingers with a pencil or even a wooden ruler.
This was a daily checkup especially on boys. First there was a check whether your hair was combed and if not, the teacher would wet it and comb you hair according to her style. Secondly there was a general check once in a while for the presence of head lice. If infected with lice, the child, boy or girl, would be sent home and asked to be treated by his/her parents. Of course the child was given another thorough checkup upon returning to classes.
These are only a few ways in which our participation at school was different from today.
25 Years Ago Books Can Be Purchased At:
-Ambergris Today -Jose Luis Zapata Photography –Richie’s Stationery -Lala’s Store -Pampered Paws -San Pedro BTB Office -S.P. Town Library -Di Bush
Contact the Author at: [email protected]