“Our youth now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for their elders and love chatter in place of exercise; they no longer rise when elders enter the room; they contradict their parents, prattle before company; gobble up their food and tyrannise their teachers.” This quote is attributed to Socrates by Plato, about 2,500 years ago.
It seems parents and teachers have been making the same complaints ever since.
But the world is very different now. Humanity holds in its mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human suffering and all forms of human life. And school is no longer just a place to send your kids to get educated.
In earlier days, the family was responsible for all aspects of care and development. Children were taught at home. They were taught cultural and spiritual beliefs. They learned a trade. They were healed by home remedies.
As society evolved and gained more knowledge, it became too complex for the family to provide all the care needed. Specialists started taking over duties formerly done by the family. Doctors and nurses provided medical care. Trades and guilds provided career training. Pastors provided spiritual care. And teachers educated children.
As the buildup of knowledge progressed along with specialisation and complexity, so did the cost. It became necessary for both parents to work outside the home in order to pay for these expenses. This is even more critical a problem for single parents struggling to pay for the cost of raising a family.
The problem now is that parents are spending less time, out of necessity, raising their children. Strangers are raising their children for the sake of pay, not out of love. Should everyone run around waving their arms in the air screaming, “We’re all going to die!” No.
Now is the opportune time to change our world for the better. World culture is now turning to the formation of partnerships with other stakeholders. We used to call it getting help from friends and relatives. The important thing is to bring groups of people with varied knowledge and experience to work together with a common interest.
And so today The New Times, working with schools and the Ministry of Education is launching a world-class initiative to shine a new light on our schools and education in Rwanda. It does give us an opportunity to regain perspective, to renew our energies and to find out where we are going.
This endeavour will not be finished in 100 days. Nor will it be finished in 1,000 days, nor even perhaps in our lifetime on this planet. But let us begin.
There are no easy solutions to difficult problems, and in the final analysis, it is more important to a nation’s survival than material wealth is the character and courage in the human heart. A nation’s character, like that of an individual, is elusive.
It is produced partly by things we have done and partly by what has been done to us. It is the result of physical factors, intellectual factors, and spiritual factors. Whatever helps to shape the human being - to make the individual what he is, or hinder him from what he is not - is part of his education.
Principal, Riviera High School
Are you a candidate? start your preps now!
As every student studies, a stage reaches when they are called candidates. In secondary schools, this is at the end of the third and sixth year when students have to sit for national examinations that determine their next academic step.
As a candidate, you need to make a lot of preparations for the exams. And this is not an easy task. It requires seriousness; you have to be disciplined and follow instructions to the book. Candidates should be well-informed about examination malpractices, which can affect other students, parents and school administration.
Examinations require a lot of courage, reasoning, and understanding. To read your books as a candidate does not mean just reading the books you are currently using to study. It means revising each and every thing you have learnt, which is a lot of information.
But when you take your time and start reading as early as possible, during exams, you just need to go through and recall what you read. Doing this will not only help you to pass, but also help you reduce stress-related problems.
You also need to maintain good health. That means you should also do some extra-curricular activities like sports. Candidates must also avoid getting nervous or scared to the extent that they even refuse or skip meals. This is unhealthy as it hampers the brain’s ability to think.
To all candidates, work hard, do your best and trust God to do the rest.
Senior Two, Riviera High School