Written by CorpsAfrica/Malawi Volunteer Ms. Caroline Luka
One of the most challenging and annoying things about school is the examinations. When the examination dates have been set and the timetable is out, that is when the fever starts. Oh boy!! You think of the times when you were distracted in class or the times you failed a math problem but neglected to make a correction. It is the time when teachers become the puppeteers with the students as their puppets. They can make the students dance to the rhythm of the music even if they do not want to.
I believe the fears primary and secondary school students face during examinations are the same fears that kindergarten children face. Even though they are very young and still getting acquainted to the life of a student, exams are still exams regardless of age or stage of school kids are in.
We started preparing the nursery school kids in my community a week before their end of term examinations. Each and every day we recited all the things we had been learning the entire term. Starting with the alphabet, colors, parts of the body, all the way up to identifying objects. It was really amazing listening to them fully participate during the revision exercise. Little did they know that behind all this fun interaction was a more serious action that would determine the smartest student. The examination day arrived and, like any other test it wasn’t pretty. We finished the exams and then graded them according to their performance on all the categories.
Finally, the closing day came and the excitement these kids had was beyond my expectation. No more early mornings. Every time was now play time. I could tell they could not wait to go home. We organized a small ceremony to motivate the outstanding kids through giving them gifts for their hard work and great performance. Parents and guardians were there, as well as the entire nursery school committee. It was something that the community had never done before and was received with heart-warming hearts. This was a way to encourage not only the children, but also the parents, to continue sending their kids to school every day.
During the ceremony, the children recited some of the rhymes they do in school to show their parents. Two students were asked to say something that they learned in English at the school. My nursery school kids are brilliant and they did not disappoint at all. The top three all received presents and I am proud to say that all these three children were girls. Amazing right? They say when you educate a girl you educate a village, and I am happy to be educating three villages at once. Giving these children the gifts was to encourage them to love school and act as an example to the other kids, so that they may perform even better next term.