Beatrice Ano, Pedagogic Inspector, Ministry of Secondary Education, advises on how students should tackle the Second Term.
How can students effectively get back to studies after two weeks of intense festivities?
Students are always reminded that the school year starts in September and ends in June after end-of-year exams. A break is just for a fixed period, known to all who are involved in the activity. Whenever it is over, students have to completely turn off the holiday page and box their gadgets, etc. Students should have gone back to their books for revision before the last weekend to start school, get everything they need together, and plan to be early for school, endeavour to go to sleep early so as not to get into any form of stress; attend all the classes of the first day and do all the assignments.
The habit of school will just settle in and they would not have any difficulties. Parents should make sure that children get all they need for school, are well shaven, take good breakfast, wear the right uniform, amongst others. Parents need to check with school authorities at least twice a month about their children’s conduct. Parents should also give time to study and avoid taking children to market during school.
Second term is full of extracurricular activities. What advice for students, particularly those in examination classes?
A good student fixes a goal for the year depending on the level. A good goal is accompanied by a study plan from the start of the year. So no matter the distractions, which can sometimes modify the plan, such a student will quickly get back to the plan. Studying for exam does not require sleeping on one’s books. Students should stop fooling around and focus on their books.
The principle of primacy and recency holds that we retain what we read/study first and what we study last. It is advisable to break study time into small sessions, say of 25/30mins, intersperse with five-minute breaks, which can be filled with stretching, or anything, but be disciplined.
How can teachers organize their teaching in such a way that they avoid calling students for extra classes during the weekends?
In exam classes, it’s almost impossible when a teacher runs into some human problem, not to try and catch up, but generally, the solution lies with students. When a class is disciplined/well behaved, teachers do not need extra-time to finish their work load.
The classes are too large for effective teaching to take place. A teacher can take a shorter time to teach a smaller class of 30 to 40, or at worst 60 than 120 to 150, packed in a very small room, some sitting on the floor. No matter how teachers organise themselves, they cannot do magic to complete their yearly syllabus. Such a situation can only be remedied through weekend classes.