Total... er, partial eclipse of the Sun.
Today, Egypt was one of those countries fortunate enough to experience the Total Solar Eclipse. Sadly, this was in Salloum, way over by the western border of the country, right next to Libya. In Cairo, there was only a partial eclipse.
In the school where I work, as usual, there was a big controversy regarding the eclipse. Here's how it went:
Someone in administration heard that there is a high chance of being blinded if you were to stare at the sun during the eclipse. Now, while I do not know the scientific truth of the matter, I will assume (for the sake of argument) that this is, in fact, true. What happened was that they re-scheduled the break 45 minutes earlier than usual. (With the old timing, break-time closely co-incided with the estimated time when there would be the maximum eclipse for Cairo).
Of course, the point behind this was to make sure that non of the kids stupidly look at the sun disk while the eclipse was "in process". What happened was that during the eclipse, one of the teachers (I'm guessing) allowed his/her kids out (again Im guessing because they asked/begged and annoyed them) to check out the eclipse.
I'm not sure if the kids were meant to return to the classroom promptly, or not.
Since the Head-Mistress (Principal) was not present at that point in time (she had to go to this hospital because her son had been injured playing sports earlier in the day), non of the other administrative staff did anything about the issue. Furthermore, sixth period (eclipse-occuring time) was designated as a free period where the kids could (if they wished) join the "eclipse-prayer". I have never heard about this before, but I will suppose that it exists in Islam or something.
There was no-one assigned to supervise those kids that did not wish to pray or the classes of the teachers that did wish to pray; all occurred haphazardly. This prayer was organized quite efficiently, in record time, if I may add. Of course, no real teaching occurred during the last two periods (which were over 8 minutes longer than usual because of the shortened and re-scheduled break)
My question is this: How on earth could an administrative staff, and a Head Mistress, expect to foster a proper educational environment if the decisions they make are abrupt and carried out with barely any warning. The teachers were more confused than the students. (I actually believe that the students are used to living in this chaotic atmosphere... they seem to thrive in such a climate.)
Whenever a teacher errs, or supposedly errs (the same thing to the administration), there is usually hell to pay. I would not be surprised if public lynching of the teacher became institutionalized policy. It surprises and shocks me that simple organizational steps cannot be set, followed and maintained. The school actually claims that they educate the future leaders of this country. Woe be unto us if this is true!
If I was in charge of this country, or had any say in the matter, the school staff and all administration personnel responsible for such chaos and confusion would be tried for High Treason, found guilty and summarily shot. I'm dead serious. One did not expect that private schools would be more corrupt than public schools, but apparently this is so. One expects governments, and especially the Egyptian government, to do a bad job. Schools who charge their students exorbitant fees for mediocre services, should not.
But that's just the way I see it.