Hol­i­day is over, it’s back to school

Sunday News (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page -

THE above ex­pres­sion re­minds the learn­ers that the hol­i­days are over, they now need to shift at­ten­tion to school matters.

They have re­laxed for a pe­riod and there is need to fo­cus on books. The mind should for­get about the ex­cite­ment of the hol­i­days. In the days past, “Back to school”, ex­cited learn­ers be­cause par­ents and guardians could af­ford to supply them with all the ne­ces­si­ties re­quired at school.

It is a dif­fer­ent ket­tle of fish nowa­days. Times are hard. The eco­nomic sit­u­a­tion is hit­ting hard and the gen­eral pop­u­lace is find­ing it hard to make ends meet.

Just two days be­fore the term starts there are many learn­ers who are un­sure whether they will go back to school on Tues­day, es­pe­cially those in board­ing schools.

Noth­ing has been put in place as a sign that they are go­ing back to school. Par­ents and guardians are mak­ing all ef­forts to en­sure learn­ers get back to school, but their hands are tied.

Times are bad and learn­ers should un­der­stand that. All par­ents and guardians wish all the best for their chil­dren but at times the sit­u­a­tion gets so tough for them such that they find it dif­fi­cult to raise school fees on time.

It is no longer school fees only which is a bur­den to par­ents, but uni­forms and sta­tionery are be­ing charged at un­af­ford­able prices. Prices of all these items have been raised to as­tro­nom­i­cal lev­els hence beyond the reach of many.

All these is­sues should be ad­dressed if our ed­u­ca­tional sys­tems are to re­main af­ford­able. All these chal­lenges fac­ing the par­ents are even to the glare of learn­ers. Learn­ers at pri­mary schools can see that all is not well with their ed­u­ca­tional needs. They em­pathise with their par­ents with the ex­cep­tion of in­fants. I hope all learn­ers in up­per grades and above un­der­stand the dif­fi­cul­ties brought about by these un­sta­ble eco­nomic prob­lems and will stop mak­ing un­nec­es­sary de­mands.

Some learn­ers make these de­mands un­aware. Form One learn­ers, es­pe­cially those start­ing board­ing life, are very care­less with their prop­erty and lose books and at times uni­forms.

Par­ents and guardians em­pha­sise on re­spon­si­bil­ity to learn­ers go­ing into Form One. They should look af­ter their prop­erty to avoid re­plac­ing items in less than a term into school. Learn­ers should un­der­stand that they can­not have more than maybe two pairs of uni­forms at the start see­ing the dire sit­u­a­tion par­ents are in.

Care­less­ness of los­ing school items should stop. Learn­ers at­tend­ing day schools are not spared of this. Pro­tect what be­longs to you or to the school. Across the board learn­ers should stop steal­ing books or any item be­long­ing to the school. It is very ex­pen­sive for schools to re­place lost items.

This also ap­plies to van­dal­ism. There are many learn­ers who are in­clined to de­stroy­ing school fur­ni­ture, be it dam­ag­ing desks, re­mov­ing screws from chairs and break­ing win­dow panes to name but a few.

All things are tough. If it is tough for the par­ents and guardians, the same ap­plies to the schools. But, these van­dal­ism acts are per­pe­trated by those learn­ers who have no sense of be­long­ing to in­sti­tu­tions they learn at.

Learn­ers should be re­spon­si­ble and value what they use in their learn­ing. The be­hav­iour of just do­nat­ing books and uni­forms to other peo­ple or learn­ers with­out con­sult­ing par­ents should stop forth­with as that prop­erty might be needed by some­body in the fam­ily chain later on.

I would like to be­lieve that born fires have seen their last days whereby uni­forms and books were burnt by Form Fours and Up­per Sixes af­ter writ­ing their last ex­am­i­na­tions at schools. That was then and learn­ers used to en­joy it and would look for­ward to it. Nowa­days that would be con­sid­ered bar­baric. But, as I have said in ear­lier ar­ti­cles bad habits die hard. It would not be sur­pris­ing that there are learn­ers still do­ing it in some schools out there. How­ever, with times get­ting so tough I hope cer­tain habits will die as they are ret­ro­gres­sive.

Schools have been out for a month and learn­ers have tried dif­fer­ent styles of fash­ion and hair­styles. That was good for them and they en­joyed it. But, they should not for­get that as the “Back to school” mantra beck­ons they should re­vert to be­ing learn­ers. They are go­ing back to uni­forms whether they like it or not. Their hair­styles should be com­pat­i­ble to the school reg­u­la­tions. Bar­bers and hair­dressers have had a busy week putting learn­ers’ hair back into shape. Oth­er­wise, if there was no con­trol classes would be messy with all types of styles.

While school open­ing days are al­ready known when schools close there is a wor­ry­ing trend where some par­ents and guardians do not ad­here to the set dates, es­pe­cially those who would have taken the learn­ers across bor­ders like South Africa. There seems to be a wrong prac­tice whereby learn­ers re­turn af­ter schools have al­ready opened and learn­ing will be in full swing. They do not care. Things change as the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion used to be strict with such is­sues in the past.

Maybe this rule has been re­laxed, only time will tell. But, or­der­li­ness is key for proper learn­ing to take place.

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