Ease pressure for learners to thrive

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2021 00:00 | By
Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha. PHOTO/Courtesy

News that the Ministry of Education has bowed to pressure and finally set mid-term dates for schools came as a big relief for all stakeholders.

It is, however, a situation that could have been avoided had education managers projected effects of marathon learning, banning of co-curricular activities, including inter-school visits and sports.

This, coupled with the anxiety and pressure brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, has brought a unique challenge on learners and the teaching fraternity.

There has been growing unease in many secondary schools as news of students’ unrest went around in the last few days.

The term was expected to run through to December 23 without half-term break, with learners and teachers expected to cover as much as possible in a bid to recover time lost during the extended Covid-induced break.

It is also during the second term that schools are determined to deliver most of what is expected of the curriculum, especially for Standard Eight and Form Four, whose time to sit the national examinations is drawing closer with much to cover and revise within a short time.

But just about a month into the second term and the unfortunate incidences of unrest were on the rise.

This week, there has been indefinite closure of more than 20 schools for various reasons.

Failure by the ministry to schedule a mid-term break when it was reorganising the school calendar tops the list.

For instance, in one of the schools where students went on the rampage on Sunday night, they reportedly declined to sit an exam since there will be no half-term break thereafter.

This year, school breaks have only been for a week after which students resume learning.

The situation has possibly been made worse by safety protocols further issued by the ministry, which restricted extracurricular activities including sports competitions, as part of containing the spread of Covid-19.

This has put so much pressure on learners, the culmination of which is students venting out their frustrations the best way they know.

Indeed, according to experts, extra-curricula activities, especially sports, play a critical role in easing some of the pressure brought about by intense learning and writing exams.

Yesterday’s half-term directive is, therefore, timely as learners will no longer be subjected to 11 weeks of marathon learning with minimal or no interaction with the outside world. 

We hope that Education officials would learn from this omission to avoid future student protests.

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