The early bird catches the worm

At the beginning of the school term, especially when it is the first term of the year, students, teachers and parents all tend to drag their feet. The seriousness required of all of them never materialises until after a few days and weeks for some.
A street vendor at his text books stall at Nyabugogo taxi park. Education Times/ File.
A street vendor at his text books stall at Nyabugogo taxi park. Education Times/ File.

At the beginning of the school term, especially when it is the first term of the year, students, teachers and parents all tend to drag their feet. The seriousness required of all of them never materialises until after a few days and weeks for some.

There is a huge tendency for many parents to spend a lot of money celebrating Christmas and welcoming the New Year. Generally speaking, the month of December is seen by many as the time for merry making. Little attention is often accorded to the fact that the next month is January and children will have to return to school.

After all the party noise has died down, many parents find themselves too broke to purchase scholastic materials for their children who are about to start the new school term and unable to raise the school fees as well.

Eventually the child has to report late for school because the parent was still trying to figure out who could lend him/her some money or whether the school administration was willing to bear with them and allow the child to study as the parent tries to find the money.

Some students on the other hand have made it a habit to report late to school or if they do report in time, spend the first few weeks dodging classes. These students believe that ‘real’ academic work does not begin until the school term has gone long into the third week or there about.

The teachers too have their pet peeves when a new term begins. Many use the fact that some students have delayed to report to school, to also delay any serious teaching until the classes fill up. The argument they often give to back up this is that teaching few students means that one will have to teach those same topics again when the laggards report to school.

All the above actions are uncalled for and only serve to postpone the inevitable. The parent who delays to take their child to school because of school fees problems forgets that at whatever time one pays, he/she must pay the full figure without deducting the days missed. It is always good to plan ahead and make sure your children resume school on time.

Students who delay to realise that school is back to business are the same ones who will end up spending a lot of valuable time copying notes they missed while away. They are also more likely to have a problem understanding what was taught while they were away.

For the teachers, the point is that a professional teacher need not wait for every child to show up in class before they do what they are paid for. When teachers relax at the beginning of the term, they are simply punishing those who made it to school in time at the expense of those who did not.

There is a reason why those in charge of education come up with a school calendar each year. Please respect it and start straight away with serious work. Remember that the early bird catches the worm.

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