EDUCATION TALK with TIMOTHY KAMBILIMA
IN MOST schools, authorities have allocated at least one hour after normal learning periods for what we call â€œprepâ€, the abbreviation for preparation.
Since pupils are being prepared or preparing for either end-of-term, mock or final examinations, it is important to give them time to study while at school.
Pupils need to know that the one hour or two allocated for study or prep may seem long and it might not feel like you are achieving or making any progress, yet success comes from adequate preparation while at school.
Why is it important to have prep in our schools? First and foremost it helps our pupils to focus on what they are studying during this free time. Prep helps the pupils to concentrate on their studies because they are not disturbed in any way while at school.
Prep also promotes team work among pupils as they can consult one another and ultimately increase the levels of assimilating academic work.
It is important to have prep time at school because it motivates the pupils to work very hard by using time fully.
Once the pupils use time properly while at school, they are more likely to excel in their final examinations.
Prep time or period is useful to all school going children, especially those in examination classes.
It improves the pupilâ€™s ability to go through examination papers with peers while at school.
Further, the pupilâ€™s capacity to tackle certain topics in advance is promoted.
Since they have the time to go through some topics based on the syllabus, learning and teaching will be interesting as they will be able to contribute during the lessons.
Prep, as the name suggests, prepares pupils to handle academic challenges and desist from engaging in examination malpractice.
Prep time should be encouraged in our schools since it builds self confidence in the pupils.
Pupils have the opportunity to study while at school because in some homes, they are not given that chance to study.
This could be a result of several factors. For example, the girl child, upon coming back from school, may be asked to do one or two house chores and by the time she is finishing, she would already be too tired to study.
On the other hand some school going children are just playful and have no time to study at home.
Prep time at school accords such pupils a chance to study. After all, you do not need to study for 24 hours; just one hour used effectively can produce wonders at the end of the day.
As Alexander Graham Bell once said â€œbefore anything else, preparation is the key to successâ€.
Prep time in school is the key to passing examinations if used properly by the pupils.
It is during prep that pupils can try to catch up with missed work such as notes in Biology or History.
Pupils also have the opportunity to interact with peers on academic matters.
If need be, pupils can organise with some subject teachers who are dedicated and committed to teaching, to help them understand certain topics.
Pupils also have the opportunity to learn self-discipline since during prep, though supervised to some extent, they are on their own.
Prep time helps pupils to catch up with school work and gives them time to research on a variety of topics or work not covered in class.
Prep work encourages pupils to have self-evaluation. Pupils can use Prep time to improve on their reading.
As you are aware, poor reading culture is a major contributing factor to poor examination results at all levels.
Prep time gives the learners a chance to revise their work and concentrate on their studies.
Homework tasks can be tackled while at school, though parents must be aware of the homework given to the boys and girls.
In a nutshell, I would like to appeal to parents to work hand in hand with teachers to help pupils appreciate the importance of Prep.
All schools, whether private or public, should take prep seriously if we are to improve the examination results and at the same time inculcate the spirit of self-study in our boys and girls.
We should remember that there are no short cuts to passing an exam. Success depends on preparation.
Without it there is sure to be failure. I end by quoting one scholar who once rightly said, â€œBy failing to prepare you, are preparing to fail.â€
Many thanks to keen followers of this column such as Lucy Mutale, Elemiya Phiri of Lusaka, Patson Hanjele of Luanshya, Steward Mwape of Chililabombwe and Geoffrey Mulenga of Ndola.
Donâ€™t miss the column next week.
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EDUCATION TALK with TIMOTHY KAMBILIMA