Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Could you go to Ugandan Kindergarten?

We have been told that in Uganda, where birth records are often sketchy, schools have a little trick to find out if the children are 5 years old. Children are asked to put their arm over their head. If the child is able to touch the bottom of the earlobe on the opposite side of their head, then they are 5 and can be admitted to school. The belief is that younger children cannot do this. We tried this with our 6 year old and discovered that if he was in an Ugandan school he would not be considered 5 because he cannot touch bottom of his earlobe. Hmmm.... Is this only African children that this applies to? Do we just have an unusual child? Or is this merely a Ugandan wives' tale? Not sure, but our helper who is 30 said that when her parents took her to 1st grade, she had to do that. We are going to try this with some of the kids here at the orphanage and see what we find.

So here is something for you to try. Put your arm over your head and see if you can touch your earlobe and see if your children can. I'd love to hear your findings. Can you or your children be admitted to Ugandan Kindergarten?

6 comments:

Michelle said...

this was fun, the kids thought it was an interesting though odd way to test a kid :)

both boys (10 and 8) could do it, but the girls (6 and 5) can only touch it if they reach BEHIND their head, not over - does that count?

riaharmons said...

This was very interesting! My 10 and 7 yr old could do it. My 2 yr old's arm doesn't reach to touch any part of her ear. It was way too short. We're going to try this with our nephew who is in kindergarten here in the states.

Sara Campbell said...

Haven't tried it, but will tomorrow. I do know we have had alot of parents from Nigeria try to pull a fast one on us about their kids' ages. :)

Amrita said...

Well I think i qualify for Kindergarten, what a relief.LOL

Trevor said...

They did this in Papua New Guinea when I was growing up, too. My mom used to tell us the same thing, that we couldn't go to school until we could touch our ear over the top of our head. I always used to think she was making this up. :)

-Janelle Collazo-

hana said...

i can! hurray for me. next time i teach kindergarten i will definitely have my students to this one. ^^