Analysis: TIMOTHY KAMBILIMA
I REMEMBER when I was a pupil at Chililabombwe Secondary School, our teachers used to take us out for educational tours within and outside the district.
Within the district, we went to Mine Farm with our teacher of agriculture science and I vividly recall the tour of ZNBC Kitwe studios with our journalism club patron. I know that even the one reading this article at one time or another went on an educational trip.
Educational tours are very important in several ways and one of them is that they help students to learn through visual experience and can be an interesting way to explore new things for both the learner and the teacher. Apart from that, they help in educating children on complex topics with students having the opportunity to get concepts through live examples. Career choices can also be enhanced through educational tours; one can choose to train as a dentist just because of going to see how dentists work at the hospital.
Since the goal of education is to impart knowledge to students, they gain knowledge and upgrade their skills by using the new concepts they learn from these educational tours. In addition, educational tours play an important role in educating our learners in a practical and interesting manner. Something that is seen in real can be easily perceived than something that we simply read in books. So taking our students to trips that will relate to their academics can help them learn much better.
Further, educational tours can also be a way to have fun and recreation. Every school must encourage learners to participate in educational tours. These tours motivate the learners to have interest in learning. The basic reason for educating students is to let them know more and dig deep into many concepts and explore them. This cannot be fulfilled only with the help of books and classroom learning. To explore deeply, students require more and more awareness and knowledge on the subjects they are reading, such knowledge transformation can happen only with the help of educational tours.
Learning something by seeing it in person is far better than just learning from textbooks. A lot of schools nowadays, especially privately-owned ones, are following the practice of educational tours so that students learn more effectively. Educational tours can impart learning of any field. There are places that can be explored in science, history, geography, English language, commerce and much more. All that matters is the initiative the staff at schools take to assist students to learn through such tours.
Students must also be fully involved as they take part in such tours. Teachers should give a brief on the places they are going to visit and the importance of those places. This creates curiosity in the minds of learners. Staff can also organise a competition after the tours, so that they can test how much the students have learnt through the tour.
In summing up, only through initiatives can we encourage our learners to actively study and get through examination. Giving the opportunity to them to decide on the type of place they wish to explore is a good way to make educational tours a successful attempt.
Parents should also allow their children to visit new places, which help them learn new things. What is important is for schools to inform parents well in advance in order for them to prepare adequately, especially at the beginning of the term.
If Cabinet ministers and other senior government officials can undertake familiarisation tours of various ministries and departments, why can’t our pupils do the same for the sake of education?
The author is former Zambian Open University Student.