We escaped from School and got away with it
I was in form four at the time and it was during the second term. We were supposed to have gone for the August holidays a week earlier but the school administration had other plans for Form four’s. They decided that it was best for us to stay two extra weeks in school after the others left so we would have more time to prepare for the national exams.
To say the truth, our class was weak. Very weak that only three members got average grades and the rest of us were holding on to whatever hope our parents and teachers had in us. The conditions at the school were not very favourable. The teachers were very strict and facilities for entertainment and sports were very few. Adding to the fact that we were being held in school against our will, the top influential people in class hatched a plan for us to escape.
These people demanded total loyalty to “the cause” and anybody who was seen to be in opposition to the resolution by us to escape was rebuked and even isolated by the rest of the students. A date for the escape was not set because the variables were too many. It was decided however that the escape time would be between four o’clock and five in the morning when we were supposed to go for morning preps.
The plan was ready all that lacked was execution. All the students were also sworn to secrecy because if word of our plans leaked we would be in deep trouble involving a series of punishments and later summoning of parents to school. None of us wanted this. One of the things I remember to have been very clever about the planners is that they just told everybody to be ready but would not tell them when it was that we would leave.
Days passed and I even started to think they had decided against leaving. A week had passed and we now had only one week in school before we went home for our holidays. Being that it was only one week to holidays, I concluded that one week was not too long and some of the students even shared my thoughts. But we would be in for a rude shock.
The very next day I was sleeping peacefully waiting for the morning preps bell but was instead woken up by silent murmurs telling me to get ready and maintain silence. It took some time for my eyes to adjust to the low light and I could already see my fellow students in bags walking around borrowing shoe polish and toothpaste. I quickly prepared, which did not involve much since I slept minus my school sweater only, so I put on my warm sweater and my shoes and was ready to go.
I still had reservations about the plan, therefore, I did not carry my bag since I didn’t think the plan would go through. The masterminds of the plan however carried bags with them. They had total faith in their plan. My friend who slept next to me had other plans though. Being a student that was sponsored by a very strict uncle, he told me that if he went through with the plan his uncle might disown him and have his education come to a sad end. Therefore, he decided to stay saying the students might do whatever they wanted with him but his uncle was way worse than any of them could understand.
He, however, promised not to betray the plan. Clever young man. Ten minutes were all that was required for everyone to get ready and after this, some students stayed at the academic square and the walls facing the teachers’ houses as lookouts. The rest of us struggled to climb the school wall where others were on either side to help us down and up to where needed. No one who was willing to leave was left behind.
After everybody had climbed the wall, we took a minute to thank the Almighty for helping us in our plan and we were soon on our way. Since we would be passing near the teachers’ houses, we walked in silence and at a fast pace. After we passed this point we thought we were home and dry. We started chatting among ourselves about how we were going to spend our holidays. Being that I had not thought they would succeed, I had not withdrawn money for fare from the school accountant and also because it might raise some eyebrows in the school administration.
The plan leaders had covered everything that they even organized how everyone would get home and urged others that had extra money to lend those that did not have. After a few minutes, we were on the tarmac road. Some started taking various paths to their homes but a large number remained. After some time, a car could be seen coming at a fairly high speed which we ignored since well we were on a tarmac road which used to be fairly busy.
Little did we know that this was the principal’s car and he had carried ‘backup’. The car passed us but stopped a few feet away. Students that were near the car did not realize what was happening until the principal jumped out together with the deputy, the chemistry and the mathematics teacher. All hell broke loose with people running here and there while shouting to warn others that we had been found.
Three students were caught and locked away in the car while the principal pursued the rest of us. We had been separated and the only option was to follow where familiar voices could be heard. Since the tarmac road was now unsafe, we followed paths through people’s farms. It had been raining lately so the paths were wet. We tripped, fell got stung by thorns and bushes but still somehow managed to escape the principal.
We reached the bus station looking weary and lucky for us the principal had not yet arrived there since he was busy chasing students on the other side near the school. It wasn’t very early and there were still some cars present so we didn’t have to stay there for too long. I arrived home at about seven in the morning looking muddy and weary with some of my clothes having been torn.
I thought my parents would be really angry at me and take me back to school but when I told them the story they laughed and told me that the principal had already notified them of our escape. They told me that they did not agree with keeping students during holiday time in school and the only thing I was to worry about was the school but not them.
I sighed in relief and went straight to bed. A week after the rest of the schools had opened, the school sent our parents messages telling them that we were to come to school accompanied by our parents and two rolls of barbed wire. During the holidays we had formed a group chat and shared our experience again and again and it is from this that we learned that the students who were caught were later allowed to go home.
The weeks until we finished school we experienced hardship and hostility from the teachers who saw us as rebels. However, our reputation among the rest of the students was one of admiration and respect for doing what they saw as impossible. They would later try this and fail miserably which is a story for another day.