Many teachers will confess that teaching is a breathtaking profession. The beauty of having the power to transform young minds into the mature thinkers and people who take charge of their world, is hard to describe.
They will also concede that one of the toughest moments of their career is that time when they have piles of examination scripts or books to mark. These usually spill into the teacher’s free time as one has to take them home and do the marking even when he/she is supposed to be relaxing.
However, once all this is done and report cards are handed out to students, teachers can relax after knowing that school will close for some time to allow them recharge their energy batteries. A few weeks of no classes to attend to or books to look at helps teachers to cool down and start the next term feeling fresh.
Therefore, as students enjoy their holidays, so do their teachers. Holidaymakers are always expected to leave school with a report card that they present to their parents or guardians. On several occasions, I have begged parents and guardians to seriously consider the report cards of their children.
Parents need to talk to the teachers of their children to get further insight into how their children performed or better still, to verify that the report card a child presents is a genuine one. Forgery of report cards is a common practice that parents should be looking out for.
It is against this background that I was moved by the words of a small girl I met in Kimironko market. The girl, who seemed to have come to the market to help with shopping groceries, struck a conversation with a woman at the next stall. For my eavesdropping antics, I figured that the girl was attending the same school as the daughter of the woman she was speaking to.
This young girl asked the woman how her daughter had performed and she simply responded that her daughter had passed. The young girl asked the woman whether she had had a look at her daughter’s report. And without batting an eyelid, she responded that she had not seen the report card but had taken her daughter’s word that all was ok.
The small girl then reminded the woman that she ought to check the report card of her daughter. That is when it hit me; some parents do not even know the importance of a report card. They are satisfied when their children tell them, “I passed.”
In other words, the whole school process is just a ritual to some parents. All they do is pay school fees, send children to school, and wait for them to come back. Whether their children are actually learning and have credible evidence of this, is something that does not seem to bother them.
I was humbled to hear a small girl telling a woman who is old enough to be her mother that it was important to check their child’s report card, and not just take their word as gospel truth.
Parents have a responsibility to take keen interest in the academic affairs of their children. I don’t even think this needs explaining. It is supposed to be common sense since they are the ones who fund this same education.
Meanwhile, now that the Rwanda International Trade Fair (EXPO 2012) is running at Gikondo, a smart parent should take his/her child to see what goes on there. During this tour, I am sure an inquisitive child will be asking several questions that a parent should be able to answer.
Any parent with an inquisitive child should be proud for that is enough evidence that your son/daughter loves to learn. Learning starts from the desire to know, question and seek explanations to different observations concerning the environment one may find himself in.