Equal Partners
by Roland Ezri

Equal Partners by Roland Ezri

Equal Partners

By Roland Ezri

"Women are the backbone of all societies. They do a substantial part of the work, and play a major role in raising the future generation yet they are largely powerless. The decisions that count are made by men and foisted upon women."

Writings by Roland Ezri

The Second Exodus – Egypt – CXXV. My Education – (1 of 13)

An overview

As a preschooler, I was not an easy child to raise. However, my parents must have considered those early years as a golden era, for when I started school all hell broke loose!

Today, at the twilight of my life, I try to understand (and share with you) the reasons as to why my school years were such an ordeal to all concerned.

First of all, it was never a question of intelligence or ability. By the age of 14, I was already reading and writing in three languages. By the time I finished high-school – and finally got my act together – my marks placed me as one of the top students in Egypt. So what was I lacking?

First of all, I had a low frustration level, the least thing threw me off-track. The phrase, “c’est impossible,” (it’s impossible) rang many times in our house. “The teacher has gone berserk,” was also often heard.

Second, I was easily distracted. Let the main door open, and I would leave my work to find out who came. I would hear a conversation, and shoot out of the room to ask, say, who had a baby.

Perhaps the most important reason was that I am the type that matures slowly. It takes me time to understand new concepts, but once I do, this new knowledge become firmly anchored in my mind.

Ultimately, because at an early stage, nothing came easily to me, I became the person I am today: Always hungry for new knowledge; an introspective individual; and a soul searching for its ultimate destination.

(I know that what I write, in some instances, places me ahead of my time. And you who reads me also moves forward. The best example is my book Equal Partners).

Going back to my early years, let me take you down the road travelled, starting with the school system as it was at the time in Egypt.

My first school was Le Collège Français; it was situated in the Daher district; and it was an all-boys school. It was the very same school my dad and (I believe) my grandfather had attended. Since it was a private school, the structure and curriculum differed somewhat from a public school.

There were no kindergarten in this school, but for a few months, I did attend kindergarten at another school.

The structure was as follows: Prèparatoire or preparatory class; as the name indicates, it was meant to prepare you for Les Primaires or primary classes. (You can think of preparatory class and primary classes as the equivalent of Grammar School in Canada and the U.S.). Primary was followed by Les Secondaires or secondary classes (equivalent to high-school In North America).

Primary classes consisted of 4 grades called premiere primaire, deuxieme primaire, and so on. Thereafter, I will refer to them as 1st primary, 2nd primary, and so on.

Again, secondary classes consisted of 4 grades called premiere secondaire, deuxieme secondaire, and so on. Here again, I will refer to them as 1st secondary, 2nd secondary, and so on. If you intended to go to university, there was a 5th secondary. There was no middle school. Finally, all grades were situated in one school.

In total, if you were headed to university, it took you 10 years to complete school. You started school at the age of 7, and university at the age of 17. (In Canada, you start at 6 and you have 12 years of schooling: grammar school, 5 years; middle school, 2 years; and high-school, 5 years. Thus you start university at 18).

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