The walls of Jericho

A new school inspector is assigned to the grade 4 class

... in one of the local [South African] schools.

He is introduced to the class by the teacher.

She says to the class: "Let's show the inspector just how clever you are by allowing him to ask you a question."

The inspector decides to ask a biblical question.

He asks: "Class, who broke down the walls of Jericho?" For a full minute there is absolute silence. The children all just stare at him blankly. Eventually Sipho [male Zulu name] raises his hand. The Inspector points excitedly to him.

Sipho stands up and says: "Sir, I do not know who broke down the walls of Jericho , but I am innocent."

The inspector looks at the teacher for an explanation. She says: "Well, I've known Sipho since the beginning of the year and I believe that if he says that he didn't do it, then he didn't do it."

The inspector is shocked at the level of ignorance and storms down to the principal's office and tells him what happened. The principal replies: "Look I don't know the boy, but I socialise every now and then with his teacher and I believe her. If she feels that the boy was not involved, then he must be innocent."

The inspector can't believe what he is hearing. He grabs the phone on the principal's desk and dials the Minister of Education. He relates the entire episode and asks her what she thinks of the education standard in the school.

The Minister sighs heavily and replies: "Eish wena. [Zulu for Damn you - near enough] You know I am very busy. I don't know the boy, the teacher or the principal. Just get three quotes or put it out to tender and have the bleddy wall fixed."