Search

Let’s talk about professions. As Education has risen in Africa so has ignorance.

Written By :Tsitsi Mutendi  Edited by:Fungai Machirori


How many times have you heard conversations where an O’ Level student is asked what their pass grades are andHow many times have you heard conversations where an O’ Level student is asked what their pass grades are and in the case that they haven’t passed, that there is that advice that comes from all corners like, “Why don’t you try Teaching? Nursing? The police? The military? Or Secretarials?”


Now this is where it gets interesting. The insinuation that only those who do not have adequate passes should be the ideal candidates for such critical functions is very, very scary. Imagine getting critically ill or injured and then finding yourself in the hands of someone who has no passion for healing but had to take the profession because it was the only option available. In most cases, they barely passed the exam and now they have to conduct life-saving procedures on you.


Are you certain they actually passed that exam that allows them to save you?

The teacher in your classroom: how well did they pass their exams? Do they understand what they are teaching? There are many a tale of students who fail O’ Level English then go on to teach subjects like History, Geography and Literature. Some may argue that the teacher may have passed the subjects which they are going to teach. But I enquire, how is that person going to teach a student to write an effective essay when they themselves cannot write an essay? Because in English exams, comprehension and composition are the key basics of the exam.


Comprehension is the ability to understand something and composition is the nature of something’s ingredients or constituents; the way in which a whole or mixture is made up. Bringing comprehension and composition together is the essay. An essay is, generally, a piece of writing – which can be formal or informal – that gives the author’s own argument.

Now if the teacher cannot comprehend what they are reading, how will they teach it, given that most books and syllabi are in English? And if the teacher failed at comprehension/essay writing how are they going to teach a student to write an effective essay/composition on a subject or topic? How is a person going to write their boss’s letter or a basic organizational email as the receptionist or secretary if they cannot comprehend or compose? It’s going to prove to be a mammoth task.


I won’t even go deeper into the police or military. I will simply pose this thought; if the police and military are our last line of defense against criminal and armed conflict, it is critical to have people who understand what they have learnt enforcing the law or understanding who or what they are protecting and how, whilst holding that gun.


Don’t be fooled, ladies and gentlemen. The idea of the critical concept or aim of going to school is not to pass exams. Anyone with the right coaching can pass an examination. We have, at some point, come to a place where we study past exam papers to practice possible questions and answers and to assess which questions or topics are likely to be examined on. So basically, learning is no longer a commitment to understanding or knowledge; rather, it’s become mostly an aim to pass an exam.


However, if we spent the same amount of time and energy in mastering and understanding, we would change our trajectoas individuals and as a collective. So, the best way to pass an exam is not cramming or memorizing, but it is actually understanding what is being taught. When you understand something, you have innate knowledge. It becomes a part of you. Knowledge allows you to contribute to the field of study by including further discovery or bringing further support or disputing the information. Either way, when examined on something you understand, you can effectively show your understanding. Because no matter how you may be examined, your understanding will allow you to show definitively what you know.

in the case that they haven’t passed, that there is that advice that comes from all corners like, “Why don’t you try Teaching? Nursing? The police? The military? Or Secretarials?”

Now this is where it gets interesting. The insinuation that only those who do not have adequate passes should be the ideal candidates for such critical functions is very, very scary. Imagine getting critically ill or injured and then finding yourself in the hands of someone who has no passion for healing but had to take the profession because it was the only option available.  In most cases, they barely passed the exam and now they have to conduct life-saving procedures on you.


Are you certain they actually passed that exam that allows them to save you?

The teacher in your classroom: how well did they pass their exams? Do they understand what they are teaching? There are many a tale of students who fail O’ Level English then go on to teach subjects like History, Geography and Literature. Some may argue that the teacher may have passed the subjects which they are going to teach. But I enquire, how is that person going to teach a student to write an effective essay when they themselves cannot write an essay? Because in English exams, comprehension and composition are the key basics of the exam.


Comprehension is the ability to understand something and composition is the nature of something’s ingredients or constituents; the way in which a whole or mixture is made up. Bringing comprehension and composition together is the essay. An essay is, generally, a piece of writing – which can be formal or informal –  that gives the author’s own argument.

Now if the teacher cannot comprehend what they are reading, how will they teach it, given that most books and syllabi are in English? And if the teacher failed at comprehension/essay writing how are they going to teach a student to write an effective essay/composition on a subject or topic? How is a person going to write their boss’s letter or a basic organizational email as the receptionist or secretary if they cannot comprehend or compose? It’s going to prove to be a mammoth task.


I won’t even go deeper into the police or military. I will simply pose this thought; if the police and military are our last line of defense against criminal and armed conflict, it is critical to have people who understand what they have learnt enforcing the law or understanding who or what they are protecting and how, whilst holding that gun.

Don’t be fooled, ladies and gentlemen. The idea of the critical concept or aim of going to school is not to pass exams. Anyone with the right coaching can pass an examination. We have, at some point, come to a place where we study past exam papers to practice possible questions and answers and to assess which questions or topics are likely to be examined on. So basically, learning is no longer a commitment to understanding or knowledge; rather, it’s become mostly an aim to pass an exam.


However, if we spent the same amount of time and energy in mastering and understanding, we would change our trajectory as individuals and as a collective. So, the best way to pass an exam is not cramming or memorizing, but it is actually understanding what is being taught. When you understand something, you have innate knowledge. It becomes a part of you. Knowledge allows you to contribute to the field of study by including further discovery or bringing further support or disputing the information. Either way, when examined on something you understand, you can effectively show your understanding. Because no matter how you may be examined, your understanding will allow you to show definitively what you know.

2 views

© 2023 by Mutendi Montessori Day School. 

  • w-facebook
  • Twitter Clean