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It is not what you read but how you read that counts

Written by Timothy Makokha
2012-03-01 15:06:00
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Students of St. Peters Seminary in Mukumu in jubiliation for producing the best 2011 KCSE candidate.

Joy prevails in most homes in celebration of 2011 Kenya Certificate of Secondary Examinations -KCSE results. Students all over the country in different schools receive their last year’s friends /candidates results in style. Celebrations are still going on as candidates realize fruits of their labor after the education minister Prof. Sam Ongeri released results Wednesday. [Read: Education minister releases 2011 KCSE results westfm.co.ke/index-page-news-bid-4724.htm]

A few who were interviewed by journalists mentioned prayer, discipline and hard work to have shaped their destiny. No wonder why the best candidate nationally, Job Nalianya came from St. Peter’s Seminary, a mission school based at Mukumu of Kakamega County. [Read:Western Kenya produces best national 2011 KCSE candidates  westfm.co.ke/index-page-news-bid-4733.htm]

 It is the wish of each child to excel in life through schooling and achieving much academically. Education shapes a person; it opens doors to prosperity for individuals. For instance, Job Nalianya when interviewed he said that he would wish to study cardiac surgery and embark to priesthood.

Learners at all levels of learning, whether young or mature are associated with books. People visit libraries and the internet in their quest for knowledge.

Teachers, parents, guardians, religious leaders, and other well wishers have always advised children to acquire knowledge through reading books. Some have gone an extra mile by purchasing books for these learners just to ensure learners succeed academically.

The disappointment comes when these learners yield poor results even after being supported fully with necessary requirements. When such scenarios occur, you will find people blaming the devil when the devil himself is not in it. Other people blame witches and their witchcraft for the poor performance.

In the current patriarchal society, men blame their wives for the poor performance of their children. In some societies, men believe that that a stupid child is as stupid as his/her own mother. This results to family conflicts putting the mother in an awkward situation on the receiving end.

To avoid all these blames and family conflicts, here are a few guidelines to enable learners gain maximally from books/internet.

Time is a factor that must be utilized adequately because time wasted can never be recovered. What is the most appropriate time for private study? Studying very early in the morning is more appropriate since the mind is usually fresh before many activities of the day. In the evening before sleeping is appropriate for doing assignments and reviewing what was learnt during the day.

 A serious learner should know the syllabus/ course outline. It is always important to know what is expected of you as a student in order to avoid reading out of context. This can be done by outlining all units in a subject and dealing with a unit at a time before moving to another.

Time for revising what has already been taught matters a lot. After attending a lesson/lecture it is good to review the taught unit the same day. This enables the brain to record information in the sub-conscious mind where it can be easily remembered. This also implies that you have to attend to all lessons/lectures.

Make notes each time you are studying either by writing in a note book or typing on a computer. Making notes while studying enhances coordination in the brain hence better understanding of the content. It also improves ones consciousness and concentration in study.

A good learner should familiarize herself/himself with questions in the subjects/field of study.  Attempt as many questions as possible and expose you to question setting techniques. This enables one to discover areas that are examinable and styles examiners apply in setting.

Relationship

Another very key factor is the relationship between the learner and the teacher/lecturer/course instructor. How well do you relate with your teachers? A good relationship with the teacher puts a learner in a better position to gain more from teachers. In such a state a learner will feel free to ask any question and to be assisted accordingly.

The spirit of team work has enabled many to succeed not only academically but also generally in life. Therefore learners are advised to work in groups and assist one another. A group of about six members is more appropriate. Selection of members for a group should be based on the ability of individuals in the sense that each subject area has a person that has authority.

Learners are advised to break each subject into units and then study all units systematically. If this is done, areas of strengths and weaknesses will be identified. After which necessary step are taken for correcting areas of weakness.

Conducive learning environment can as well be enhanced by learners themselves by avoiding enmity at all costs. Enmity interferes with the psychological framework of learners making them loose concentration.

Learning begins with personal interest which should be nurtured and followed cautiously for the benefit of an individual. Guided by achievable objectives without mixing issues, one can advance to greater heights in education. Parents, teachers, religious organizations and the community at large are charged with the responsibility of mentoring students towards academic excellence.   

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