Teachers mind: Make yourself busy during the holidays

English language classes are never complete without English proverbs.

English language classes are never complete without English proverbs.

I came to love this bit of the subject because of the wise counsel that came with each proverb. One good one went like this, “An idle mind is the devil’s workshop”.

In short, one who lacks anything constructive to do is likely to indulge in destructive activities. These activities may be destructive to him/herself or to other people.

Many students throughout the country are already on holiday and a large number of them are indeed idle. They sleep, eat and sleep again without engaging in any constructive activities.

Without realising it they are setting an environment conducive for the devil to get to work. However there are many things that a student on holiday can indulge in and reap great benefits.

Parents should see to it that the so called holidaymakers do not just turn into a nuisance during this period. Parents need to see to it that their children get into activities that are beneficial to their life.

The third term holiday is rather long and so having something concrete to do is a smart move. Since the education policy of Rwanda emphasises the use of English, French and Kinyarwanda, a wise student can enroll for a language course.

It is a fact that most Anglophone students have lots of trouble with the French language while the Francophone students also suffer with English.

Kigali is blessed with numerous language schools that even offer attractive packages for students on holiday. Students should try to use this chance to at least get the basic elements of a second international language.

You may not learn everything immediately but by the time you return to school, the language won’t be as strange as it used to be.

Many students exhibit a general lack of interest in current affairs or things happening in their country and in other parts of the world. Now that they are at home, they can be encouraged to pick interest in current affairs.

A parent returning from work can for example encourage the son to read a copy of The New Times. This way a child will slowly develop a reading culture, learn about current affairs and even develop intellectually.

A child should not spend hours on end listening to music on the various FM stations and watching movies. Occasionally he/she should be encouraged to watch CNN news for instance, or to listen to BBC, VOA or DW radio.

This helps the child to keep pace with global events and even to improve his language skills especially the pronunciation of words.

To make the whole process beneficial a parent should be on hand to explain to the child certain new words that he finds difficult to comprehend.

A supportive parent should ask the child what he/she has learnt from the story read in a newspaper, or the documentary that was on television.

This being an ICT era, parents should seriously think of enrolling their children in ICT schools so that they can get the basic knowledge needed to operate a computer.

Again such schools are easily available in Kigali and many of them charge reasonable fees for the basic computer skills packages.

One the lighter side, students can make better use of their holidays by joining youth clubs that teach life skills. Instead of spending close to two months visiting all your friends without any plan in mind, you can take up swimming lessons or join a tennis playing club.

Since students spend the biggest part of the year at school, it is also wise to use the holidays to visit close relatives that you have not seen in a long time. Spending time with your grand parents in the village can be a very exciting experience.

Apart from renewing you relationship with them, there is a lot to learn from them as elders. Listen carefully to their stories and remember their words of wisdom.

Children can also be used to help out at a family business like a shop. Other than being cheap labour, they are bound to learn a lot about how money is made and cherished. The will gain valuable entrepreneurial skills while on the job.

Being idle is the source of numerous tempting and evil situations. It is against this background that all children on holiday should try to look for ways of utilising their holidays in more fruitful ways.

Parents should see to it that their children do not waste time in antisocial behaviours during this period. 

E-mail: ssenyonga@gmail.com