Skrell/Family and Education
The Skrell have a number of important distinctions from humanity in the areas of family and education, mostly shaped by their strong communal bonds, pragmatism, education and focus on service to the state.
The Skrell are non-monogamous, preferring a large panel of sexual partners for the purpose of reproduction. As such, the notion of human monogamy is alien to them, although some skrellian border colonies have seen more radical skrell toying with the concept. Despite this, Skrell need and enjoy a family structure, leading to another form of union, that the Skrell call Bonding. Instead of forming a constant familial structure to which offspring will automatically be attached, Skrell make a punctual Bonding when a couple produces a shoal to attach the children to this couple, and only this couple, making them, in effect, a family. This allows legal and social recognition of the progeny by both parents while letting them explore other reproductive opportunities.
The parents rarely stay together after a Bonding, one being designated as the Qarr-Maqa, the main parent, responsible for the children, while the other becomes the Qrri-Maqa, who has more of a support role, financially and materially supporting the Qarr-Maqa
Relations between two shoals who share one or both parents are quite distant; At best, they will see each other as something akin to cousins, but generally, they will tend to simply ignore each other, only to meet during important family gatherings concerning the parent. On a legal point, however, they do not share any kind of link but the same parent(s).
With such a focus on pragmatism widespread reproductive partners it would be easy to assume that Skrell do not form long term intimate relationships. This is, of course, incorrect, and Skrell are very much capable of feeling love for another on the level of a life partner, there is simply no sexual attraction to this particular relationship.
A traditional skrellian family is composed of:
- The Qarr-Maqa, the main parent figure, tutor and caretaker of the children.
- The Qrri-Maqa, secondary parent figure, financial and material support. On an emotional/relational standpoint, they might be compared to a human uncle/aunt.
- The Qarr-Baqa, brothers and sisters from a same Bonding. Skrell not having as numerous strong familial as humans, the Qarr-Baqa often share stronger bonds than human brothers and sisters.
- The Qrri-Baqa, children from another Bonding of one or both the parents. Generally having no or almost no contact with each other, their role in the family is non-existent.
- The Maqa’lak, Qarr-Baqa of one of the parents. While being free of any kind of responsibility toward the children, they fill the same emotional niche than the Qrri-Maqa. They do not need the prefix "Qarr-" before their names, for a "Qrri-Maqa’lak" would be so distant from the family that it doesn’t need to exist as a concept.
For the Skrell, gender has no significance outside of reproduction.
Typically, Skrell do not engage in the production of offspring with those from castes other than their own. When this does happen (which is exceptionally rare) the offspring take the caste of the Qarr-Maqa. Other Skrell tend to view such offspring with distrust, pity and sometimes, derision.
Skrellian education is the basis of skrellian society. Tadpoles are educated by their parents and interaction with other Tadpoles of their Bonding. When a Skrell enters their “adult” shape, they enter the first level of academic life, called the Mi-Gloa, the Early Enlightenment. At this point, they learn basic logic, physics, mathematics and skrellian history. All Castes follow a similar curriculum except for the Qerr-Katish, who are specifically educated and immersed in leadership and their role in society.
At the age of eight they leave the Mi-Gloa and enter the Qlor-Gloa, the Focused Enlightenment, where each castes curriculum diversifies. Here again, the lessons are general, with a focus on the castes traditional roles and subject matter.
When they reach the age of fifteen, the Skrell chose the path that will determine their future work: They enter the Keri-Gloa, the Ongoing Enlightenment, for it is believed a Skrell never truly stops learning from that point. From there, a Skrell, called a Keri-Glo’i as long as they remain students, can leave the Keri-Gloa at the age of eighteen, which means they will be a Qrri-Mog, a low-class worker, taught but not truly enlightened, or at the age of twenty five, making them a Qerr-Mog, a full-fledged skrellian mind, expert in their area of work. Only the “Qerr-Mog” can hope to one day become Qerr-Koal, experts of their castes and counsellors to their King.
Apart from being educational institutions skrellian Academies also are the heart of skrellian politics; They are similar to a human parliament with a number of key differences. Members of the Academy are not elected; They follow a strict organisation based on the position of the Skrell in the educational part of the Academy.
Teachers and Professors both sit on the Qerr'Moti (parliament) having the ability to vote on laws and kingdom legislation with both having different weight in terms of their votes. A teacher’s vote is worth one, while a Professors vote is worth two. A teacher is called a Qrri-Gloqal, while a Professor is a Qarr-Gloqal.
The Keri-Glo’i, the students in the last part of their education, can attend sessions of the Academy to observe the political process so that they may learn the political process and prepare them for later life.
Directors and other leading figures of the Academies often being Qerr-Koal, do not take part in the legislative part of the skrellian political life as voting bodies with a voice, instead serving as expert advisers on legislative pieces or serving as the speaker of the Qerr'Moti.