Is your House-help your Child’s Teacher?

Children are the leaders of tomorrow they say and we all know that the family is the bedrock of any society; but how do we actually come about this? Who is your child’s teacher?



Nkechi came from the village to Lagos with her step mother and father’s consent. She voluntarily agreed to come and be“omoodo” – house help.

Entering the house, she looked around, thinking this is going to be her new house for a long time. She missed home already, a little scared and wondering if she should just go back. Her new madam called her “I am here ma” she answered.

“Here” her madam said, handing her a sheet of paper.“I have written down the list of the things you will be doing in this house”.

Nkechi looked through it blindly. Some she remembered from the stuff Corper John taught them at the elementary school she attended.

“Your mother said you can read and write?” her madam asked. “Yes I can ma” Nkechi replied, bending her knee again. “Okay” her madam said. “Come on let me show you round”.

7 months later….

“Nkechi, get up and check who is at the door”. As she got to the door her expression changed, she became visibly disturbed and agitated; her heart was now beating faster. It was Tomi’s school teacher. Her madam had said he was coming.

Maybe he has come to report her she thought because she hadn’t been helping the kids with their assignment lately. Even the kids themselves had complained, but it is not her fault, she had tried her best. Yes in the first few weeks she was able to hack it, but then the assignments had changed and had become much harder. She just didn’t understand them. 5 months ago, she subtly suggested to her madam to get a teacher for the children for extra lessons at home. Her madam had said not yet and added that Nkechi was still capable of teaching them after all.

Still lost in thought, she gestured for the teacher to come in.

“Is madam home”? He asked. “Yes” she said, and closed the door. She gestured for him to come into the living room, then went in to call their mum.

“Haa…teacher good afternoon”

“Afternoon Mrs Aderonlu, he replied while standing.

“Please sit down”, Mrs Aderonlu gestured.

“Nkechi go and get some drinks”

Nkechi noticed that her “madam” was in shock as she came back to the living room as she read her son’s report card.

You mean this is Tomi’s report card? she queried. How did he fail this much?

“We don’t know ma. But that’s why I decided to come see you. I was surprised too, knowing that he had been coming up”.

Tomi’s mum looked really shocked as she dropped her glass.

“Nkechi, have you not been helping the children with their assignment?” she asked.

“Yes, I have ma, Nkechi said, but……”

Mum, does this sound like you? Do you trust your illiterate or semi-literate house-help to help your child with his homework and school work?

Writer: Morenike Balogun

[Read: What Children Learn From You]

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