Education: Africa vs. Arizona

When I was 10 years old,  I left my country, Congo, Brazzaville to go to  Ivory Coast to live with my mother. My mother was sick; she was almost blind and needed professional care. After intensive treatment, praying 24/7 and going to church everyday, my mother’s eyes opened up. She could get a job in the medical field as a midwife and could go places by herself without any supervision.

After four years living in the Ivory Coast, my mother decided for her, my sisters and I to come to the United States and start a new life.  I agreed with my mother’s decision without really knowing why. I never really asked my mother why she chose to leave Ivory Coast because I think it is not important to know. After the decision was made and we all agreed to move to Arizona, my mother just randomly chose Arizona off the map of the USA.  My mother did the paper work to come here.  As a result, my mother, sisters and I arrived in February of 2005 by going through France for a day, then spent the night in Atlanta and finally, we landed in Phoenix, AZ.  While I was learning how to leave here and meeting new people, I was shock to see so many people were obese, whether it was a baby or an older person.  Also, how much junk food people ate was surprisingly thing for me to see.

By then I was fifteen years of age. I went to Glendale High School where I learned English for the first time and also graduated there. Once I graduated in May, I started attending Glendale Community College.

I think in the countries I have lived in  Africa, the education is more intense than in the U.S.  The reason why I feel that way is because in Africa when  students do not do their homework, they get punished by the teachers with the parents permission.  The teachers can tell make the students that are being punished clean the school restrooms or stay after school for more than two hours without food, drink or anybody to talk to. This makes the students do their homework and make sure they know everything that has to be known for a test or a quiz.

On the other hand, here, students do whatever they want because the teachers can not do anything to them or they will get sued by the parents, which leads to fewer students getting good grades or many of the students dropping out of school. I think that is why students who study in Africa are more successful, but don’t have job opportunities to practice their majors and students here have a lot of job opportunity, but don’t have enough supervision to push them to stay at school and actually get a degree.  Moreover, sometimes I miss Africa because of the humid and always warm weather and my friends and my father who stayed behind in my country. I am also thinking about returning just to visit and see how much change it has been since I left. Hopefully, people will remember me and I will still be able to see my old friends.


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