For those of you who love following the now ubiquitous English Premier League football competition, you sure do know how many games those guys play before the season ends.
The games are so many, and although the players earn lots of pounds each week, the fatigue eventually takes its toll on most of them. In fat the FIFA president has been on record saying that the boys are like modern day slaves.
In a related way students who expect to do their final examination this November seem to be facing a situation similar to what most professional footballers go through as they strive to earn from their talents.
Candidates of P.6, S.3, and S.6 in this country are now being psychologically tormented by simple things like the calendar.
Each time they look at it, they do not just see the days of the week but how few of them are left before the examinations come around.
While other people are thinking of the monthly Umuganda cleaning exercise, the candidates are thinking of a month less towards the much dreaded November.
The blame entirely lies on the bogus education systems adopted by most African countries where success is not mainly but entirely vested in an examination of about three hours at the end of years of studying.
These exams make or break a person’s future. Since this is not about to change students have to endure with the awkward status quo. As the academic years ebb to an end, the pressure exerted on the students also seems to increase.
The students have piles and piles of notes to read and master before the moment of reckoning when they will be expected to explain in clear terms the concepts that they have learnt in school.
It is now September and therefore students are left with less than two months before sitting their exams. Time is not an enemy to the students only.
Some teachers due to unforeseen reasons may not have been able to complete the syllabus with their learners. Such teachers are now ‘over teaching’ their students in order to cover everything before it gets too late.
Some of them are rushing through topics without much explanation, while others leave piles of notes for the students to copy when they (teachers) are away.
This tends to increase the pressures on the students and more importantly wears them out. In other cases, students are being given numerous tests and exercises in a bid to prepare them for the exams.
What we need to keep in my mind is that too much of anything is bad. No matter the intentions of the teacher, he/she needs to keep in mind the fact that these students need some rest too.
Too much work may simply wears them out and thus hamper their performance in the final examinations. As they have covered most the stuff that they are expected to find in the exam, it is prudent to given them some time to read on their own.
Teachers who are through or almost through with the syllabus need to simply come in as facilitators to assist the students to understand the things that seem problematic. The students should be assisted to have regular discussions as these help them to conceptualise issues in their own words.
The students too should not over work themselves by reading all the time. They need to be reading for purposes of understanding not simply cramming concepts into their heads. However students should not ignore their teachers thinking that they can now be on their own.
Dodging classes on the pretext of reading or ‘researching’ is bound to worsen than improve things in any significant way.
As the candidates prepare for these very important examinations, they ought to keep in mind the fact that resting is crucial because a tired body of little use. This is the time for the teachers to be less of themselves and more of facilitators.