September is here with us again, a month our children resume to their various schools, and a new academic session begins. I can feel the joy and excitement by the school children as well as their parents and guardians. The children are particularly excited because they have been promoted to the next class, their parents are equally happy due to combination of factors; their children have exceled in their academic endeavours, are more matured, while the hustle and bustle of occupying these children meaningfully will now be shifted to the schools. Gosh, can’t wait to see them resume. Did I hear you jump for freedom? And you thinking less noise, less untidy rooms, less watching of television and playing games. Phew! Are we not glad they are returning back to School? Some may be crest fallen because they didn’t make it to the next class. Some parents may be struggling to source for fund for their children’s school fees, hence the excitement isn’t as it is with the first group described above. Not to worry. Things will get better.
As happy or sad as the children, parents and even teachers and entire school management may be, it is very important that the various parties thoroughly take stock of the previous academic session, evaluate the weaknesses and challenges experienced, so as to forestall reoccurrence. The milestones achieved should be encouraged and improved upon.
Let’s run a quick evaluation on all the stakeholders to ensure a successful academic year.
School Management: What new plans do you have for your teachers to make them more efficient, effective? Did you organise seminars or workshops for them to improve on their career development including the non-teaching staff? Are your learning materials up to date and bad ones replaced? Did you carry out a maintenance check on the school equipment and facilities? How safe, secured and healthy is the environment, have the toilet facilities been checked and up to standard as specified by the Ministry of Health? Remember health is wealth and proper learning can only be given in a healthy environment. What is your stake on security? Are your security personnel up to date with the present security challenges and are there measures to safe guard the school environment?
In order to achieve a holistic learning, adequate attention should be given to extra-curricular activities, creating enough time for children to discover their other potentials. Have you included these activities in the school academic time table?
Teachers: You are the great builder. In fact, teachers are the single most influential and powerful force for equity, access and quality education. Can you see how powerful you are and can be? Another session is here with us. The future of many children will be placed in your hands, will you make them stars or will you box them as not good enough? How prepared are you? What were your challenges last session? Are you working on overcoming them? Remember you are a builder, the children are like tools which you are to work with, how ready are you to make them succeed? How emotionally intelligent are you? Emotional Intelligence is a vital tool you need to bring out the unique potentials of each child. Always remember that each child is unique, hence avoid comparing the children in your care. Cultivate a personal and warm relationship with them, see them as partners or collaborators rather than subjects, this will provide good environment for effective and participatory learning.
Pupils/Students: How excited and ready are you to move on to your new class? Are you ready for this new class? What were those mistakes you made in your previous class that teacher and parents corrected, have you learned and mastered them so you don’t repeat them this academic year? Did your class work well, are you ready to get better results? Were your assignments well done and submitted on time? Did you take time to improve on your handwriting and reading skills? How many good books were you able to read during this holiday? Did you discover new words to enrich your vocabulary? Reading other books other than your school books also help imbibe a good reading culture, broaden your knowledge in different genres of life. What about your personal hygiene, has it improved? You know that cleanliness is next to Godliness, therefore it is important to improve on your hygiene, keep your books should clean and tidy.
Parents: Our first educators, you are the custodians of values and character formation, your importance to the wellbeing of our children can never be overemphasised. Our children’s development and success to a very large extent depends on the disposition of parents to play their part in the formation of the children both in academics and character. How prepared are you for this new academic year. Have you prioritised the needs and not wants? Have you paid their school fees, bought books, uniforms, school bags, stationery etc.? Please spare these children the emotional trauma by providing their school needs. We know times are hard but we can try. Did we participate in their academics last session by going through their homework, attend school activities like PTA, inter-house sports etc.? We should show concern about what they do, look at their work to know how they fare in school. Encouragement should be given at all times, their outlook should be of utmost concern to us too. If a child is having challenges in school, empathy should be applied not castigation. Always remember that children believe so much in their parents, so it is important that we are careful of what we say to them, a child who is not academically a superstar might be a sports genius, meaning no child is without potentials!
For any endeavour to succeed there must be good plans backed by determination to make the plans realistic, so to achieve positive academic results, all stake holders of education must collaborate with each other, one should not expect the other to cover up, for each is distinctive in its role.
Happy Resumption to everyone!
On the Marble With Chika Obi
“Feeling confident is an important part of success. One way to boost your confidence is to allow mistakes. Don’t expect perfection. Instead, learn from your mistakes and forge ahead.”——Kristin Vickers Douglas.