Hafsat Saliu Written by Hafsat Saliu · 2 min read >

Hi everyone, you are welcome to read my post on my two weeks’ experience in a boarding school.

I am the first child and only daughter of my parents, so I was well-pampered. After graduating from a top leading British primary school in Ikoyi, it was time to go into a secondary school and my parents decided I go to a federal secondary boarding school. At this time, I was a couple of months away from turning nine years old.

Admission into the school comes with a long list of items to bring along to school. Some of the items are a mattress, buckets and so on. I got everything on the list and even more, then had my name boldly written multiple times on each item with a permanent marker. My name was also sewn in with thread and needle on my uniforms, house wears ( outfit changed into when in the hostel), socks and underwears.

On my first day of resumption, my parents met the science teacher who agreed to become my guardian and placed me in his care. He is such a nice man and I was so happy to be in the right hands. A few minutes after my parents had left, I went back to the hostel and found all my belongings to be missing. Yes, every single one including my mattress, luggage, buckets, everything was gone. I was shocked and tried to ask around if anyone had seen it but was met with nonchalant attitudes. I raced back to my guardian’s quarters and narrated the incident to him. He went with me to the hostel and after many threats, my belongings were placed somewhere in the hostel that we had searched before. All of it was returned. This made me smile and further assured me that I was in safe hands.

After my Guardian left, my ordeal began, my hostel mates were mad and hostile at me because I reported. Apparently, I had violated one of the student codes. I was called a witch and other vile names, my bunkmate refused me of placing my mattress on the bunk, I had to lay it on the floor to sleep.

The next day, I ran into a friend of mine that attended the same primary school as me and this friend’s elder sister is a senior student in the school at that time. Her sister became my guardian angel in the hostel and saved me from being bullied most of the time.

After a week in the school, most of my belongings had been stolen, I was left with only one school uniform, the one I had on, all my house wears were gone, and my beverages, buckets, and shoes were all gone. I had to go get worn out shoes from the dump to put on. Because of the fear of losing the only uniform I had left, I refused to wash it, so I wear it to school, sleep with it, and only pull it off when I want to have a bath and wear it back. I was so dirty and got punished in school for being dirty. Guess what I did the next day, I washed the uniform, had my bath and wore it wet like that to school, at least it’s clean now. I got an even worse punishment than the day before. 

This experience turned me into a dull, unsmart girl, I wasn’t happy and my guardian couldn’t help much, he said I will get used to it. At the end of the second week, it was the end of Ramadan, so Muslim students were allowed to go home for a few days. My dad came to pick me up and couldn’t understand what had happened to his daughter. We had a long talk as we drove back home and that was the end of my boarding school ordeal.


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