Teacher’s Mind: Success wishes can make a difference

A month ago, I went to the newly opened Nakumatt store in Kigali and spent a long time trying to choose which success card would best convey my good luck wishes to my niece who is currently sitting her O level examinations in Uganda.

A month ago, I went to the newly opened Nakumatt store in Kigali and spent a long time trying to choose which success card would best convey my good luck wishes to my niece who is currently sitting her O level examinations in Uganda.

When I later walked to the post office I was surprised to find a small queue. Many in the queue were there for the same reason – sending a success card.

One particular gentleman even found it fitting to assure the lady at the counter that he was sending a card to his daughter at Mary Hill High School in Mbarara.

I do not know about the readers of this column, but I personally believe a success card to a student expected to sit crucial national examinations can go a long way in boosting their confidence levels.

When I was still in secondary school, a card was so important that after classes we often swarmed the postman as he read out the mail, hoping to receive a card from a relative or friend.

To many of us, the success card was a sign that someone out there was really concerned and wished us well in the examinations we were about to sit because they were indeed important examinations.

In another perspective it showed that someone was thinking about us and was aware that we had indeed reached a certain class, even when we had not met in the recent past.

As students prepare for this year’s national examinations at primary level, O’ level and A’ level a little motivation from a success card could do wonders.

The card shows the candidate student that the fruits of his/her success are bound to bring joy to many people out there and thus he/she should aim for the best results.

Of course all this may be in vain if the student has not done his bit of attending classes attentively and reading hard in preparation for these exams.

Therefore the card is not supposed to do wonders for the lazy student. In fact, such a student does not deserve one in the first place.

For not doing what brought him to school (studying), he does not deserve to be rewarded with an expensive card at the end of the day.

The other thing is that most of these cards are sold with words and decorations already written therein. Simply adding the name of the sender and recipient may not be a wise thing because the card will be lacking that vital personal touch.

Take some time and write a few words of encouragement to the student. And, by the way, the card is not the only way of passing on success wishes to a student.

You can also pay a child a brief visit if he/she is in a boarding school and say it verbally. If they are day scholars then you can say this to them before they leave for their examinations.

The phenomenon of sending success cards should not be limited to parents only. Even teachers or head teachers can also buy a general card for all the students in the candidate classes.

In my time these would be read out aloud during the morning assembly and later pinned at the back of the class. Education is a process that should involve all stakeholders.

If you bought scholastic materials for your daughter and paid all the tuition fees, it may still be a good investment if you went to the supermarket and bought them a beautiful success card.

I strongly believe that as my little niece sits for her examinations in Kampala she will keep in mind the fact that her uncle in Kigali is concerned about her education and wishes her the very best.

Therefore, on behalf of this column, this newspaper, and on my own behalf, I wish to utilise this opportunity to wish all candidates in Rwanda success as they sit their examinations this November.

Contact: ssenyonga@gmail.com