As examination fever creeps in, just weeks before the national examinations kick off in November; there is a new wave of inter-schools collaboration programs that are aimed at pooling skills and expertise in an effort to produce good results.
In Gasabo district, mock exams for all primary and secondary schools kicked off yesterday (28/9/11). The exams have brought together a number of schools; primary and secondary, in an effort to test the schools’ preparedness for national examinations.
In Nyarugenge district, sitting for common exams at the end of each term is a tradition. Perhaps this explains why the district’s performance at national level has always been superior.
On average, schools from Nyarugenge district perform better than all other districts in the country.
The joint district exams are subject panels set up by the district education office. The purpose is to come up with standard exams.
Jointly set exams are better than those set by individuals who focus on what they have taught rather than what is supposed to be taught.
The same spirit of joint exams should be instilled in sports and all other co-curricular activities.
Let us have students showcasing their skills in music, athletics, soccer and debates at inter-schools, district and national levels. They should be as many as the schools calendar can accommodate. Let all students get out of class, watch and cheer their colleagues. Let them interact and learn from each other.
Co-curricular activities can be a very good vehicle that brings all the social walls tumbling down and thawing all the social barriers. The national examination council has set the precedence by encouraging students to have common examination centres where they meet and share facilities and interact as they tackle their papers. This is how national unity can be cultivated.
By not putting a lot of weight on more publicized and well organized co-curricular activities, students who cannot get recognition by excelling highly in examinations are waxed out and cut off from the entire learning community.
The school reserves the prerogative of identifying and nurturing talents therein.
Education has a wide spectrum. Focusing on the academia only cannot be anywhere near the definition of schooling or education.
Likewise, ignoring the hand and the heart of the leaner is tantamount to amputating the whole purpose of the school and education as a whole.
For the inter-schools programmes to succeed, school administrators have to have goodwill and zeal for the whole process. Opening up and sharing information, ideas and skills with other schools does not subject any school to unfair competition, but rather, it opens a pipeline through which more ideas can flow to and fro to boost performance.