Teachers: Set the examinations bar high

Anyone who spends time acquiring skills, knowledge and attitudes in school must be allowed time to prove their worth. Now that the academic year is slowly coming to an end, teachers countrywide are busy preparing final exams for their students.

Anyone who spends time acquiring skills, knowledge and attitudes in school must be allowed time to prove their worth. Now that the academic year is slowly coming to an end, teachers countrywide are busy preparing final exams for their students.

By now students should be busy preparing for these exams. This process must have started with attending lessons, taking notes and carefully listening to lectures. Then a student is supposed to read through the notes s/he has taken in order to thoroughly understand their content.

If a student fails to comprehend something in class or later, they must have the guts to ask the teacher for further explanations. This reminds me of a Chinese adage that goes, “He who asks is a fool for five minutes, he who does not ask, remains a fool forever”.

Students should make effort to truly understand the information presented them, and not simply cram facts to repeat them like a parrot at exam time.

Such poor study habits can lead to disaster if the examiner phrases a question in a way different from how the student read it when they crammed.

A teacher should also be in position to help his students understand the material taught, whether inside or outside the classroom.

A teacher’s main role is to teach, so if students don’t understand what was taught in class then the teacher must devise other methods to explain it to them until it is clear and understandable to all.

Before you do this you must always find out from the students whether they are following as you teach. The value of feedback from the learners can not be overstated.

To the teachers who are now busy setting the end of year examinations, extreme attention to certain things must be paid. A final exam must be comprehensive, covering a large percentage of what students have been taught during the term.

Teachers should not even for a single moment forget that they are preparing their students for eventually sitting national exams that lead to their certificates.

They need to be taught everything that is part of the syllabi prescribed by the Ministry of Education through the National Curriculum body.

After the teaching has effectively been done, it’s then time for exams to evaluate the learners. In doing this, teachers must not set easy exams to let their students pass with high marks.

Furthermore the exam absolutely must never be leaked to the students in advance. Examination malpractices are an evil that should be fought seriously.

Making exams easier for your students may help them pass and feel good about themselves then, but when they sit for national exams and fail (which will certainly happen) it will all return to haunt you as the teacher who failed to prepare your students for their futures.

A good teacher should also teach his/her students how best to conduct themselves during the examination period. Students often approach exams like someone facing the death penalty – terrified.

But panicking just facilitates errors. To properly prepare students for exams, teachers must not only make sure their students fully absorb and understand the material.

They must guide their students and teach them to take pride in their studies, so that they can sit down to their examinations calm and with confidence.

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