Learn to read books just for the laughter

Working in a school avails me certain rare privileges, like access to library books. Sometimes, pupils will refer children’s book to me. Last week, I read one of those, The Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Double Down.

The tiny book is so humorous that I read it in one straight night. Two days later, I was talking to a bunch of other kids and I shared with them how lovely it was to read that book. They outright sneered. I was taken aback. “My mom says that I should not bother reading such books?”

Quite surprised, I asked why. “Because they do not add any educational value to you,” One of them persisted. “Miss, what value did that book add to you?” I had to think fast.

“It added laughter to me. It made me laugh all evening and it gave me such a pleasant and peaceful night after reading it.”

“Well, of course, but still it adds no knowledge to your brain.” They argued.

We encourage pupils to read and memorise for exam purposes. Should that be the only reason we read, though?

Not all books are written to satisfy the academic requirements of a student. Others will help you cut a slice off a stressful by adding humour to our bones.

by Judy Nyambura

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Why varsities are breeding lazy students

University studies are most enjoyable when undertaken alongside relative supplementary reading and research. While crash programmes are important to help lecturers cover the course content, they are only geared towards passing exams. This is not what university learning is meant to be, and particularly the study of literature.

It is not justifiable to conclude that the reading culture is deteriorating in Kenya because students do not interact with the written word. Rather, it is partly because the system provides inadequate time, which is passed down to other generations. For how will a teacher without a love for books encourage his students to read?

 

The writer is a student of Literature at Moi University

by Martin Muchira Gachenge

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Students need guidance on career choices

The 2016 KCSE candidates who qualified to join various universities and colleges will report to the various institutions from this month.

When releasing the universities and colleges placement result for 2016, the Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service chief executive John Muraguri disclosed that some students who scored good grades such as B plain and above missed their courses of choice since they went for options that they did not qualify for when clustered.

It is estimated that about 50 percent of university graduates are working in careers that are not related to what they studied at university.

During our time in school, career talk was programmed like any other subject. But with the latest craze of chasing after good grades, there is hardly any career talk going on in our institutions of learning.

It emerged that most of the 141 students who scored an A grade in last year’s KCSE exams chose to pursue medicine, pharmacy, engineering, architecture and economics.

Yet our students need to be guided to know that even the best among them can still pursue education, law, journalism, tourism or marketing. Not all A graders can be neurosurgeons or rocket scientists. As Suzanne Gachukia observed, “We have drama festivals every year. What happens to the winners? Why do they go to become lawyers, accountants, doctors and secretaries? (Saturday Nation, May 6, 2017).

A report on how Singapore developed a high quality teaching workforce points at how the country made deliberate policy choices to develop a coherent curriculum delivered to every school by highly trained teachers. The Singapore ministry of Education carefully selects prospective teachers from the top one third of the secondary school graduating class.

Another area of concern is the low number of girls who enrol for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) courses. There is need to encourage girls to take up sciences.

This calls for a greater involvement with groups such as FEMSA (Female Education in Mathematics and Science in Africa), which aim to promote the participation of girls in mathematics and science education at the primary and secondary school level.

The ministry of Education, in collaboration with the Teachers Service Commission, should strive to equip our teachers with skills to offer quality career guidance to our students.

 

The writer teaches at Ng’iya Girls High School in Siaya County and is the author of Managing the 24 Hours of Your Day [email protected]

by Oginga Orowe

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