#Article (Archive)

The shape of things

Jul 27, 2012, 12:54 PM

Some schools are about to close, while others have already done so for the long summer holidays.

As is always the case, many schools have summer classes for their students. The rationale is to keep the students busy during the long break.

To the teachers who are entrusted with the difficult task of molding the character of the young ones, we say thank-you.

To the students who are the leaders of tomorrow, we say learn very well now so that you can rise up to the challenges that lie ahead.

To the parents who cough up the money to keep the students at school, we say don’t give up. It’s a worthwhile investment.

There are two issues we would like to address here today.

First, is the issue of the summer classes. The idea is laudable. Students are kept occupied throughout so that they don’t get into mischief.

But what about getting them to acquire skills during the long break, instead of the academic stuff they are lumbered with.

Throughout the academic year, it is learning and learning. And the same is done during the summer classes. Would it not be more relaxing for the students to pick up new skills, such as gardening, computing and other skills.

Alternatively, they could be camped for the duration of the long break. At the camp, they could unwind by taking part in a variety of sporting events, leadership training tests, etc.

Second, it is important that the annual back-to-school beach parties be reviewed. Almost on a yearly basis many students drown while frolicking on the beach. These are unnecessary deaths. It would be good for the government to clamp down on these beach parties.

The first term of the academic year is always a broken one, with the Koriteh and Tobaski coming in. But the final year students - that is the Grades 9 and 12 students - will have to realise that, despite the festivals, the first term is the only time they have to study very hard for their exams.

They must take advantage of it and work hard now, so as to avoid the last-minute rush that is typical of students’ preparation for exams. Inadequate preparation is one of the causes of the poor results we have been getting in external examinations over the years.

School authorities should ensure that, whatever happens in this first term, the final year students should be exempted from certain activities, and made to concentrate on their studies.