The man’amko are also learners


Visiting the “outdated’ items shelves at the markets is one of the major pastimes of my sheltered life. Usually the items are displayed with a date of issue and a date of expiration. The notion is that the highest value of the item is somewhere between those two dates, a value that decreases rapidly in worth as the date of expiration approaches.

In our schools, we assign children classes based often on their date of issue, add a comment or two about accompanying value to society in the child’s matching herself with what’s determined to be her “potential.” Through the education process we then measure that worth and value for a couple of decades, or until the date it is determined her potential has expired.

Likewise, the community acknowledges a date of issue for special members we call man’amko, although we tend to withhold from them the respect of their being endowed with a potential afforded the child. We relate to the man’amko as though they have already reached their date of expiration and therefore have no further contributory value to the community. Learning does not have a date of expiration.

At NMIS, we practice lifelong learning; we honor the man’amko. And, we are restructuring our offerings to welcome attendance of man’amko as active participants in the Information Age and the use of computers and other technological devices in their daily lives.

John B. Joyner
Manager, NMIS

Contributing Author

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