I feel like someone just told me Santa Claus wasn’t real. This week I had the challenge of talking to my school about the possibility of one of our girls getting a scholarship to go to another school. Leading up to this conversation with my head teacher I was anxious but hopeful. I really felt like he is a reasonable, respectable person who really truly cares about the girls at this school.
After having a few different conversations with him about this over the past two days, I’ve come to realize that he isn’t exactly who I thought he was. I realized before that it wouldn’t be in his best interest to let one of the top performers leave to go to another school, but I thought if he really cared about these girls, he would help them to possibly have this opportunity. As it turns out, I was wrong. He is more interested in his own self interest and the interest of the school in general, than he is of the best interest of these girls. I think what I thought before of him caring about the students was really him caring about the school. You may not think there is a difference, and normally there isn’t, but in this case there is. In my conversations with him he would say things like “It would do the school a disservice for one of these top performers to go to another school.” And my response to that was “Aren’t you doing these girls a disservice by not letting them have this opportunity?” But no matter what I said he would constantly twist things back to favor his side. This whole experience was frustrating because these girls work so hard and they deserve this.
After I gave up talking to the head teacher myself, I called Stevie, the director of Girl Tech, to see if the head mistress at Wanyange would call my head teacher to try to let us help these girls apply for the scholarship. And in the end, the head mistress at Wanyange felt like it was a lost cause because my school is better than most and that she didn’t feel we would really be able to push much further.
As discouraged and disgusted as I was, after talking to Stevie about it I felt a little better. I realize that there are plenty of volunteers at schools that are much needier than mine. And it sounds like most of the other schools didn’t throw up any problems like mine did, so most of the rest of the girls will apply. In the end, as long as two exemplary students who are unable to go to a good school otherwise get these scholarships, then that’s all that matters. And maybe it’s better to have students from schools that are worse than mine get this opportunity. I guess overall, what I’m most disappointed about is that I see my school in a different light now than I did before and I don’t think there is too much that will change this.