How do you plan to spend the holidays?

After a long school term with all the exhausting school demands, many wish to just relax and while their times away. However, since there are only three weeks, it is advisable that one makes the best out of this brief respite, writes Grace GateraThe end of Term One holidays are here and it may not come as a surprise that many students are simply thinking of where to go partying. After a long school term with all the exhausting school demands many wish to just relax and while their time away. That is all well and good as all work with no play makes Jack a dull boy. However, since they are only three weeks, it is advisable that one makes the best out of this small break.
Students returning from school for holidays. Education Times/ Timothy Kisambira
Students returning from school for holidays. Education Times/ Timothy Kisambira

After a long school term with all the exhausting school demands, many wish to just relax and while their times away. However, since there are only three weeks, it is advisable that one makes the best out of this brief respite, writes Grace Gatera


The end of Term One holidays are here and it may not come as a surprise that many students are simply thinking of where to go partying. After a long school term with all the exhausting school demands many wish to just relax and while their time away. That is all well and good as all work with no play makes Jack a dull boy. However, since they are only three weeks, it is advisable that one makes the best out of this small break.

Chantal Umulisa of Butare Secondary School says that she cannot even think about studying during the short holiday. “I spend three months poring over books. You cannot expect me to read even in the holidays. Holidays are for rest.” This attitude is shared by hundreds of school going children. They believe that the holidays should be treated as days to rest their eyes and spend days loitering and visiting their friends.

“I cannot force my children to study in this short time. This holiday especially is for remembering loved ones we lost during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. During these short holidays I will cut my children some slack and let them enjoy the brief respite from books they have gotten” Mukamacombe Cassilde, a mother of three from Kicukiro says.

Her son, Armel Ntwari however disagrees. “I am in the last year of secondary school. If I don’t utilise these few days to do some marathon reading, I will be left behind. I am in a competitive school; I know everyone else is studying.”

To facilitate these ambitions, many schools set up a holiday package where by students can go for extra coaching in the holidays so that they can catch up in the subjects where they may be lagging behind.

“This holiday, we are yet to inform the students when and where but we usually have these summer school sessions, we have discovered that they help students to catch up,” a teacher at Kigali Parents School who preferred to remain anonymous said.

“I attend summer school. It helps me in areas like Math and Science where I am poor. We usually pay between 20,000 to 30,000 francs for the 4 hours we study each day.” Mugisha Mercy, who is in P6 at the school, says.

Benon Twahirwa, a student of Bachelor of Education at Kigali Institute of Education says that they usually get jobs during the holidays as private tutors to secondary or primary school children.

“For twelve hours a week, we visit homes to teach children different subjects. We encourage people to hire private tutors because they can teach children at any pace. This helps the slow learners to catch up with their peers because we understand, take care to explain a subject thoroughly in order that they understand,” he says.

The Public Library in Kacyiru has special programs for the students. Rwabasa Bosco, who works on the information desk, points out the various programs that they have for the holiday. The library is well stocked in the book department with shelves covering two floors, with subjects ranging from scholastic material to purely recreational reading.

Membership for children not yet in secondary school is set at 5000 francs while that of the young adults is 10,000 francs per year. “For that you get to borrow books, read for hours, access the computer lab and if you have your own laptop, unlimited wireless internet,” he says.

For the toddlers, there is a story time program as it is believed that children are great fans of stories and love to listen to them.

“The Library is the key to the children’s success in learning new things. When you read, talk or play with the child, you’re stimulating the growth of his/her brain and building the connections that will become the building blocks for the future.”

These holidays the library plans to train over 200 teenagers in computer literacy, 50 in public speaking and another 50 in debating”, he concludes.

Alicia Ishimwe, a first year student abroad, says that whenever she gets the chance to come home to Rwanda and finds herself lacking what to do she heads down to volunteer at the library.

“I especially like sitting in the story sessions. I love how they treat the children. I miss that when I go back to school. Seeing my country mates read and use their time profitably; that is how we build a nation. Through literacy”, she said.

Therefore, rather than wasting your holiday just loitering around without a plan or spending money on sports betting, you are better off heading to the library to do some reading. As a parent you could hire a private tutor to help your child stay abreast with the school curriculum. Whatever you do, try to be productive.

Subscribe to The New Times E-Paper


You want to chat directly with us? Send us a message on WhatsApp at +250 788 310 999    

 

Follow The New Times on Google News