The children writing the National Grade Six Assessment would wish that the examinations were held every day. They have been treated with so much kindness and consideration, far better than at Christmas.
The children are made to feel extra special on the days when they have to write examinations. The parents go out of their way to treat them with extreme love and affection.
Parents go to great lengths to ensure that there is no psychological pressure on their children. They do not shout at them. They do not assign them any chores for fear of placing any pressure on them.
Parents wake up early to prepare a special meal for their children who are writing the examinations. The parents know what meals the children like and they prepare a special treat on examination day to send them on their way. The children are encouraged to eat as much as they can and take seconds if they so desire.
Parents shower affection on the children. They hug and kiss them. They walk them to school, hug them again, and wish them luck in the examinations. They ensure that they have extra pens and pencils, rulers and sharpeners.
During lunchtime, they take a very special meal for them. It is either Church’s or Pizza, things that the children like. Before the kids leave for the afternoon session it is more hugs and kisses encouraging them to do their best.
When they return from school, they are told to take it easy, to relax. The children must remain in a stress-free environment in preparation for the second day of examinations. Nothing is done to place any form of stress on them. They are given words of encouragement.
And the cycle of special meals, hugs and kisses and encouragement begins all over again when the second day of the examination commences. Some children end up wondering whether their parents had an overnight epiphany.
If the children were so pampered throughout the remainder of their school days as they are during examination days, their performance would be much better. But the problem with parents is that they reserve the best treatment, towards their children, for examination days.
Parents should not wait until examination days to create a pressure-free environment for their children. They should feed them well before and after the examinations. They should ensure that the children are always treated with kindness and consideration. Home should always be a caring and loving environment for the children so that they can enjoy their childhood and they can develop a hunger for learning.
Most parents expect that special treatment on examination days will have a miraculous effect on the performance of children. They do not appreciate that learning is a process that takes time. Children need consistent support to bring out the best in them. Displaying special love and attention only on examination days is not going to reverse all those other times when children were made to feel unappreciated and unloved.
The fancy meals at lunchtime on examination days are not going to compensate for the years of previous neglect of the nutrition of the children. It is not going to work any miracles on examination day itself.
It will only, in the eyes of the children, expose the hypocrisy of their parents. The children will privately question why it is that they are only made to feel special on examination days.
In fact, all this special treatment can backfire, because when the children do not perform as well as their parents expect, the parents are bound to vent their frustration on the children and point to the fact that they went out of their way to make them feel special and loved when the children were sitting the examination.
Parents must love and show affection to their children all year round, and not just at exam time. They should show love to their children, because this will create an environment in the home that is conductive to learning.
Many parents have little time for their children before examination. But come examination day, the children are given the best treatment. It is too little, too late.
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