Every time schools re-open, I find myself tackling the same theme in this column. And I am not about to stop until I see some positive change.
I am so incensed by the lack of importance attached to the school opening day. This day is set by the Ministry of Education and is supposed to be respected by all schools.
I have realised that schools on their part have no fault when it comes to this day. It is the students and parents/guardians who evoke my ire.
When the Education Ministry officials sit down to draw an academic calendar, so many things are put into consideration and therefore it is not by mistake that they set a date when all students in the country should resume school.
Each school term is designated a number of days and this arrangement considers the adequate time for teachers to cover a given number of topics within the syllabus.
It is for this very reason that students and parents should make an effort to adhere to the Ministry’s guidelines by respecting this day.
However, when the school opening day is breached then time for class work cannot be enough. This is simply because time lost can never be regained. Each day that goes by can never come back no matter what.
I am saying all this because it has become some kind of habit for a good number of students not to report to school on the designated day.
Some very unserious ones never show up until a week has elapsed. What is more annoying is that a good number of them always never have a sound reason for staying home while others are studying.
I always find myself eavesdropping on conversations where students in a commuter taxi will casually talk about not going to school on the first day.
Typically one asks the other when he/she plans to return to school and the colleague will casually assure his friend that it won’t be until a week or so!
You will excuse my language but some parents or guardians are stupid enough to act in similar fashion.
They simply let their children stay at home ostensibly because serious class work has not yet commenced or because most students have not yet reported to school. How one gets to know this without going to school remains an enigma to me.
Such parents also forget that the school fees they pay coves the whole term and not just the days when ‘serious class work’ is covered.
People with such weak reasoning are the same ones who refuse to sit in an empty taxi simply because there are no passengers.
You too are a passenger and likewise in the school setting you are a student and so you should be in school.
You should not have to wait for others to show up before you go to school because at the end of the day no one will sit your examinations for you.
Schools should put in place stringent measures to curb this vice that is fast eating up the education system.
With few students reporting to school in the first week, some compassionate teachers find themselves in a dilemma of whether to go ahead and teach or spend time on revision as they wait for the laggards to get to their senses and come to school.
This being the final term of the year, is all more reason for students to utilise their time.
And this starts with students coming to school on time and getting on with their studies so that at the end of the term, they are not panicking to read accumulated academic materials.
I just pray that at the beginning of another school term I won’t find myself compelled to tackle this topic again.