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On account of the pandemic, its disturbances and  the consequential disruption of the school calendar (among other reasons), many of our school-going youth; whether in primary and high school, have been largely affected. 

This disruption was unseen and of course unplanned for, however, this has been a key factor in determining the academic performances of many of last year’s learners. With the academic results from our Grade VII, Form III and Form V being released over the past week and a half, it strikes as a very sensitive time for many pupils, who have to deliver an acceptable batch of results – and parents or guardians alike for whom sometimes reality overrides expectation (in both a positive and negative way) with regard to what their children deliver.

Of course, it is always a joyous occasion when a learner celebrates their hard academic work with a set of grades that set them in good stead to progress and go on to achieve greater academic heights. The family is happy, the learners themselves are excited, and in actual fact that is exactly the kind of positivity we all want to be a part. On the contrary, in the case when things do not go quite as good or seamlessly – for instance, if one of our children has failed to do well enough to be guaranteed a place in high school or tertiary institution – they can find this particular time of year massively challenging and hard to bear. 


First, it is vital to note that many of the learners in their final year in primary, secondary or high school are at a critical stage of their human development, and these complexities are intensified by the fast-moving society they are exposed to. Psychologically, this stage in life is also largely influential in that it marks the development of that individual’s self-esteem, confidence as well as their relations to those in and around the same age bracket. To add, these young people have had to hold off pressure from parents and teachers and have had to deliver acceptable results during a pandemic that threw everything we used to know about how schools operate into disarray. This couldn’t have been easy.

Many parents feel the need to batter their children for not being able to pass (or pass well enough) to qualify for the next class or certain universities and quite frankly, I am not one to suggest how effective or ineffective that can be for the child. The truth is, even before that child is met with their parents’ ‘wrath’, they are already psychologically ‘beating themselves up’ for letting their parents and teachers down, their esteem may be low, their self-belief may be non-existent at that particular time and their confidence may have hit rock bottom. 

The last thing one needs in such a situation is to be rejected, degraded and belittled by someone they trust and are eager to impress. This does very little to improve the condition of the already dejected child but instead causes them to seek solace in isolation while they are psychologically and emotionally at war with themselves. Again, this particular time of year is where we see plenty drop-outs, drug abuse among adolescents and the high prevalence of mental illnesses such as depression.


Frankly, it would be rather interesting to find out how many of us ‘oldies’ would have performed in school had we been under such tricky learning conditions as those who are still in school, but it is important to note that it cannot have been easy for the learners to adjust and adapt to them. On account of that, those who have not been able to perform do deserve some leniency and understanding as this way of learning is new to everyone. 

Emotional support also goes a long way in assisting those who have not been able to make it or do as well as they had hoped, to give them renewed hope and maintain their enthusiasm to learn and do better. So to those who were not able to succeed the first time of asking, there is always a chance to do better. Congratulations are in order for those who did well in their examinations and the best of luck for the future. Kindly send comments to runsford0505@gmail.com

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