NEXT month candidates all over the country will sit national exams that will go a long way in determining their future. During my school days at Busoga College Mwiri (Uganda) the last weeks of the term would never go without a reminder of their importance not just for our stay in the school but life in general.
The prefects who were charged with addressing the morning assemblies often warned us about how it is very easy for a boat to capsize while close to the shores.
The argument would be that as the boat gets closer to the shore, the passengers become impatient and stand up consequently destabilizing its centre of gravity.
This often results in the boat capsizing and pouring all the occupants into the water. This is what is often referred to as complacency.
In the same spirit, candidates tend to assume that now that the school term is coming to an end, they can relax as far as academics and discipline are concerned.
This practice of letting their guard down often costs them more than they can imagine. Many assume that because they are registered with the examination council, they need not respect school authorities.
Some of them use this as an excuse to indulge in all sorts of anti-social behaviour breaking al the known school rules.
I always wonder why students think this is the best way to behave during the last days. Do they think that leaving school implies the end of following rules/laws?
On countless occasions I have advised my students that in case they want to leave a legacy at the school then they should read hard and perform excellently. This is best way to leave a mark in the school. Unfortunately some think they can achieve the same status by becoming notorious for breaking the school rules.
The most disturbing bit is when candidates stop attending class even when a teacher clearly informs them of topics they need to cover or pay more attention to.
Some students pretend to be doing their own ‘research’ and in the process trash anything the teacher has for them. The situation where a teacher finds himself begging students to attend class is one of the lowest moments in ones career.
On the discipline front, I have noticed over the years that in the last days, some candidates tend to put on their worst behaviour.
It is common knowledge that students should possess mobile phones while at school but during the last days it seems like a rule for the candidates to flash around their phones. Interestingly many have been sent home over this issue.
The moment they are caught with these phones, they stubbornly refuse to hand them over (thanks to their inflated egos as candidates) preferring to go home and return later to do their final examinations.
With such clumsy tendencies you start to see students who have performed excellently for a long time embracing the worst behaviours.
The negative outcomes of such behaviour are known clearly by all teachers and seeing one of your students getting wasted simply because they think being a candidate is so special a status can be really disturbing.
I have been an examination candidate before and now as a teacher the only thing I can say to any student with a vision is that they should never let their guard down especially now.
Instead, they should be using this time to consolidate on the work they have accumulated over time and consulting their teachers for those areas where they feel inadequate.
Teachers always want their students to excel so when we see you (students) spoiling what you have built over time we are not happy. Please do not fall at the last hurdle.
This is the time to give things a big final push to ensure success in the forthcoming exams. Even a pregnant woman needs to push hard at the end of nine months to deliver a baby.Follow https://twitter.com/ssojo81