FAITH-BASED schools remain the best choice for many parents and guardians in Rwanda because admission in any one of them is like acquiring a blank cheque that they can go with to the bank – assurance of academic success.
For those with doubts in their mind on the certainty of their children’s success in the academic realm, they can count on the faith-based schools’ role in molding their children into highly disciplined and responsible future citizens.
The stark difference in the enforcement of discipline in faith-based schools and the secular ones is what often stands out. The philosophy is to first discipline the mind in order to lay the ground for the inculcation of knowledge.
The centrality of discipline in success in life and academics in particular cannot be overemphasized. Success in school is pegged to high standards of discipline on the part of students and teachers as well.
DISCIPLINE. This is a commonly used word whose meaning and value is often trivialized. Discipline involves mental self control used in directing or changing behavior, learning something or training for something.
Faith-based schools are so uncompromising when it comes to discipline either in class or spiritual programs. The students’ duties and responsibilities are clearly defined to an extent that no misbehavior can be associated with any ambiguity in the school regulations. Parents and guardians are also made aware about the school rules and regulations and in some cases made to sign after reading the school regulations as commitment that they will support the enforcement of discipline in the school. As a result, no questions are raised when the smallest of all regulations is broken and disciplinary action is taken.
Students in primary and secondary schools cannot be left at liberty to choose what they want. Precisely, they cannot manage the freedom of choice. Many important choices in life and academics have to be made for them and constant follow ups made to ensure that they toe the line.
Where school systems are loose and little supervision on the part of students done, the results are dismal. The tendency to overindulge is very high for schooling children.
Knowing that the easiest thing to do on earth is to avoid reading, the faith based schools’ programs are designed in a way that there is little or no time for entertainment and other non essential issues so that the bulk of time is dedicated to what matters – academics.
I toured one renowned faith-based secondary school that has been topping in national examinations and I was surprised by the level of organisation I found there. That, to my amazement, happened without a compound. All the activities were controlled by prefects and no one questioned or defied their authority.
Where discipline is high, less time is wasted in solving discipline related cases thereby dedicating more time and energy to academic work. Consequently, students spend more time is school rather than serving suspensions at home or in school detentions.
Research has shown that the level of discipline in students is directly proportional to the level of academic achievement and achievement in life in general.
We can all agree that even as adults, self restraint saves us a lot and helps us to avoid many pitfalls that can otherwise torpedo our future with all its plans.
Though some people may disagree, the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge. Where the name of the Lord is mentioned and invoked for divine guidance, tremendous success prevails. In faith based schools, therefore, God is the supreme instructor and disciplinarian. In these schools, excellence is not a matter of chance but certainty.