Text & illustration by Ismail Ibrahim
The bell rang for the interval and my friends and I were going near the gate to bring our breakfast. I was so hungry that I thought I wasn’t walking. It was just like the birds chasing their prey. And next, we ate our breakfast and went to ground to play volleyball.
“Triiiiiiing…” the bell rang loudly as all the students went to their classes. It was Math period that I liked most. But that day wasn’t same like the past days. The teacher came in looking worried and I was wondering why.
“Good morning teacher…!” said some children as they took their math books out, while others were laughing and chatting, and then there were those who hadn’t noticed that the teacher was there. The teacher asked us to sit as she sat on her chair. She appeared to be thinking about something. That would explain why she didn’t yell at my fellow students who were in their own world talking and laughing not realising the class had already begun.
“Teacher tell us the math marks. You said you will give it today, right?” asked Sandali as she reached for her math textbook.
After a few minutes I noticed she didn’t look too happy. I also thought that she could be angry.
“13 W’s in this class. Highest is 95 and lowest is 3…” said teacher in a worried tone. “What? 13 W’s in our class,” I asked as my mouth dropped wide open. The class was shocked and was silent as they couldn’t believe. “Who got 95 marks?” questioned Ahamed.
“Ismail got 95 and yours is 85 marks. I am so sad about this. Only your class is like this. When I joined this school as Health Science teacher, all my classes had the best overall performance but only this class it is everything upside down. And now as Math teacher, I am shy to say that I taught you all math. What are these marks…20, 35, 45, 5, 10. Can I accept these marks…” she said in an angry voice. “I am not angry with you all. Ok. I am going to tell the director about this and you all can replace a good teacher to study math. First, take these pieces of papers and write what’s wrong about me or what is the matter about your marks” said the teacher. That day she wasn’t going to teach the lesson. So I wrote and gave her. She smiled at me and nodded her head. At 7.00 O’clock in the night we had to go again to school to study. Sharp at 7.30 p.m. current went out. “Ahh…because of these useless ministers we have to study under candles and torches! Now our country is at…” said Haseef just as the director came in “Ok…Ok…now start studying without wasting time”.
Some of us were playing with toffees Hussain had brought and others were playing with candles. “Rasni, what are you doing? Study!” said Irham as let out a big laugh. “Irham, don’t play ok…I will hit you,” said Rasni in response.
This went on as long as the lights failed to come back on.
I went into school the next day and the Health Science Sir was there.
As the class settled Sir told us that we need to work harder to prove ourselves. That we also can do achieve high marks like other classes.
“You can have your fun, but during class hours let’s all work together to learn. I believe in you.”