Kaduna’s old­est pupil faces poor mo­ti­va­tion

Daily Trust - - EDUCATION -

and fore­arms should be rest­ing com­fort­ably, with el­bows bent at a 90 de­gree an­gle, on the top of desks. Chairs should al­low feet to sit flatly and firmly on the floor with hips, knees, and an­kles bent at 90 de­grees.”

The teacher said Dan­juma might find learn­ing dif­fi­cult be­cause of lack or the ab­sence of class­room fa­cil­i­ties, which were seen as es­sen­tial in mo­ti­vat­ing stu­dents. He said if a child’s trunk and spine are weak, and he is strug­gling just to sit up or to sit still, he is us­ing his men­tal and phys­i­cal resources in or­der to com­ply with the grownups’ de­mands, and not chan­nel­ing them into learn­ing his lessons.

There are sev­eral things teach­ers can do in school to help chil­dren main­tain good pos­ture and align­ment, which will sup­port the work of their hands, eyes, ears, and brains for learn­ing such as fre­quent move­ment breaks, he added.

Aliyu’s school was over­crowded with al­most a hun­dred pupils per class, caus­ing teacher dis­sat­is­fac­tion.

The head­mas­ter said there were over 1,918 pupils in the school with each class hav­ing more than 80 pupils, a num­ber far above its car­ry­ing ca­pac­ity. The teacher-stu­dent ra­tio was not com­men­su­rate with the widely ac­cepted stan­dard. “Ide­ally, each teacher is sup­posed to han­dle a class of not more than 40 pupils but here, you teach close to one hun­dred pupils with­out ad­e­quate teach­ing ma­te­ri­als. It be­comes dif­fi­cult or im­pos­si­ble to pro­duce the ex­pected ben­e­fits. In con­trast, small class sizes specif­i­cally in the lower classes greatly boost pupils’ aca­demic achieve­ments. This ap­palling teach­ing con­di­tion has been like this for al­most ten years now with­out mean­ing­ful im­prove­ment but we hope the new gov­ern­ment will im­prove the sit­u­a­tion.”

An­other teacher who would not want to be named said guardians and par­ents have to buy books and writ­ing ma­te­ri­als for their wards while teach­ers will use their monies to buy chalk to teach. “We buy chalk with our salaries to teach the pupils. The lo­cal gov­ern­ment author­ity re­cently bought about 140 car­tons of school chalk af­ter sev­eral com­plaints and dis­trib­uted to over 200 pri­mary schools un­der its ju­ris­dic­tion. The chalk was not even enough be­cause in some schools it won’t last for a month. My school got only four car­tons.”

Again, most of the school build­ings were aging and with­out re­pairs since in­cep­tion with their con­di­tion be­com­ing di­lap­i­dated.

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