Archives: #student

A FAMILY TRIP THIS HOLIDAY IS AN EXCELLENT IDEA

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It is easy to wave off holidays as times to give children a break from learning. However, this can be a grave mistake. While children should be given a break from formal learning and schooling, there are many fun ways of ensuring that they do learn even during long holidays.

A field trip is an excellent idea of a fun way to teach your children and /or wards in a hands-on way during holidays. By definition, a field trip is a trip made by students to learn about something

A field trip can be to places like nature spots e.g. water springs, water falls, rocks and nature trails, zoos, schools, museums, etc. It is fun, exciting, and yet educational. Here are some benefits of a field trip:

  • children have fun traveling and experiencing new places and things
  • children learn in a hands-on manner different from what obtains in a school environment
  • children get more exposure to the variety of peoples and customs that exist in the world
  • children get to know their country better

Holidays – especially to affluent Nigerians – often mean one or more trips to choice cities in Europe, North America, Middle East or the Asia – New York, Paris, London, Atlanta, Singapore, or Dubai. However, Nigeria is a large country, with lots of beautiful locations that all provide learning experiences. Those experiences include: historical, cultural, religious and scientific. Here are a few such places:

  • Olumo Rock, Abeokuta
  • Ikogosi Water Falls, Ikogosi-Ekiti
  • Arinta Water Fall, Iponle Ekiti
  • Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife
  • University Of Ibadan Zoological Garden (and the campus too)
  • Obudu Cattle Ranch, Calabar
  • Kainji Dam and Lake Kainji, Niger State
  • Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria

These are just a handful of places to visit. Each of them have a rich history that involves stories based on culture and/or science. Your children will see and hear things for themselves that will reinforce the theoretical classes they have had in school. A lot of things will be clearer to them. And they will have great fun while at it. You should give it a try these holidays.

Don’t forget to pick up one or more of First Veritas books with homegrown content that helps your children learn from the point of view of our local environment.

COMPREHENSION- DICTATES PASS OR FAIL

New PictureComprehension is the ability to understand and interprete what is being read. It is an important skill in the educational process. Why do we say so? Many of the challenges and problems that students are required to solve in life require a good deal of comprehension. If a child is unable to understand a question, how will he or she provide an accurate answer?

Problem solving often requires:

  • understanding the question or what has been stated is the problem
  • being able to connect the question or problem with other knowledge already acquired
  • being able to critically work out the solution

Have you ever made a statement or asked a question, and someone provides a response that does not fit in? In all probability, that individual did not understand the question. There was a problem comprehending your question or statement.

Failure does not always arise from a lack of knowledge or skill in the specific subject, but from poor comprehension skills. Some students fail physics not because they do not understand physics, but because they lack comprehension skills. Same goes for other subjects. Years later, as adults, they will require this same comprehension in whatever field they may embrace as a vocation.

This is why we must not only teach English as a language, but also promote a reading culture. Note that by reading culture, we include the use of dictionaries and other reference material.

Here are a few pointers:

  • we must make our children read and ask questions for the purpose of developing comprehension skills
  • materials to read: good story books and novels (both fiction and non-fiction); newspapers (though some of these have fallen behind in recent times); and magazines
  • a good dictionary should be available to children
  • if internet access is available and the child’s use can be monitored, a Google search for unknown words and phrases yields useful results

Growing up in the seventies and eighties, children had fewer distractions to reading. Today, the distractions are legion, yet we must polish the minds of our young ones by exposing them to well written books and periodicals.

5 BENEFITS OF READING FICTION

bedtimestories_1356045cFictional works may contain made up characters and experiences, but that does not mean that they serve purely entertainment purposes. Whether for adults or children, reading fictional stories is beneficial in a number of ways. Today, we share with you some of the benefits of reading fiction. Grab some popcorn and a bottle of Coke please 🙂

Entertainment

This is perhaps the most obvious benefit of fiction. People read fiction for the entertainment, the thrill and the pleasure they derive from the story lines.

Relaxation

This may sound closely related to entertainment, but it is not quite the same. Reading a novel or story book helps the mind and body to relax. Those who appreciate the rhythm of language often find reading a book a very calming and relaxing experience.

Of all the activities available to children in particular, book reading is perhaps the most calming. It is no wonder that bedtimes are perfect times to read a story to a child. As an adult, you should give it a try too. You just might be surprised.

Development of vocabulary

If you want to add new words to your vocabulary so you can better express yourself, reading fictional works is a good way to go about it. They expose you to experiences outside of your everyday reality, thereby introducing new words that you would otherwise not have come across.

Stimulates imagination

A fictional work can take you vividly through an evening on the streets of Paris, or on a detailed trip around the Caribbean. While you may never have been to these places, a good novel or story book paints a clear picture in your mind by stimulating your imagination. An active imagination can be a great asset to you in learning, as well as in problem solving.

Now, you have a few reasons to pick up a book to read today, and to encourage your children to read too. Act on it. 1st Veritas has a number of good fictional works that your children and pupils will find engaging. You should check those out too.

Do be sure to have a nice day!

A LESSON FROM FATHER TO DAUGHTER

A man had one of those discussions with his pre-teen daughter. He kicked things off by asking her if she was involved in any extra-curricular activities in school. She replied that she was and went on to explain that she was interested in the sprints and jumps. The jumps include high jump, long jump, and triple jump. Apparently, she had discovered that she had strong legs and was good at those activities. However, she further went on to say to her father that she stopped participating because some senior year students were always making fun of participants. The mocking wasn’t a personal thing against her, but it affected her badly enough to make her withdraw.

The father saw an opportunity to teach his little girl one of life’s important lessons. So, he dived into his own history and narrated to her how at different stages of his own life, he had been ridiculed and discouraged by others. He told her how he had chosen not to give up at each of those times.

“In life, there will always be people who will make fun of you and ridicule whatever you do,”she told her as they walked down the quiet street. “You have to make up your mind that you will not let others discourage you from achieving your goals.” The father went on to point out why people often resort to mocking and ridiculing of others:

  • sometimes, they are just plain jealous that you are better at a task than they are
  • sometimes, they have personal issues that makes them feel better about their own lives when they mock others

He went on to say to her: “What people say in mockery is no reflection of who you are or what you can achieve. It is a reflection of who they are and their values. If you want to do something and achieve greatness at it, you have to learn to ignore those who mock you”

Pick up that new book and read. Learn that new language. Polish your diction and refine your poise. Learn that new skill and go excel. Keep learning and keep achieving, regardless of how hard anyone tries to discourage you.

WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNT ON YOUR OWN RECENTLY?

Educational institutions and teachers are important and play a vital role in learning in every society. Yet, it has been proven that personal interest plays a very strong role in the learning process that life is. And if there is anything that personal interest does, it is that it motivates us to find out things on our own. It drives us into curiosity. It causes us to pursue knowledge.

It has been said that pursuit is the proof of desire. In other words, if something really interests you and you really want it, you will go after it.

Before this age, if you needed to learn by yourself, you had to visit a library every day, looking through the available book titles to sift which one has what you needed, then sit down for long hours day after day gleaning as much as you can from the titles you eventually selected. Sometimes, you had to repeat the process again and again till you found what you wanted. Today, technology has made it easier to learn by yourself.

Here are a few pointers:

  • using Google or other search engines, you can find out quick and dirty articles to break down any subject to you at whatever level of understanding you are – beginner, moderate or expert levels.
  • You can enrol online for a variety of online courses that allow you to learn from anywhere you are and at your own pace and in your own time.
  • Again, with the use of any search engine, you can find book titles that fit your learning needs in a matter of hours and you can order them right there online and have them delivered to you where you are

Learning has gotten a lot easier than it used to be. Now, even in situations where you have the benefit of a teacher, you can easily augment what you are learning from your instructor and become a much better equipped person.

So, here is the question: What have you learnt on your own recently?

NIGERIA NEEDS A MUCH STRONGER EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM

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Being custodians of our children’s education, teachers play a very vital role in the society. From the creche all the way up to higher institutions, teachers are at the core of the education of our children. This is why the subject of training , evaluation and re-training should be taken as a serious one.

It will not do to have teachers whose spoken and written English are below standard. That would be very counter-productive, as students will end up learning the wrong things. That is why the training of teachers should be a priority, and not an after-thought.

It does not help either that many people who end up studying education at the higher institution level do so as a last resort. Unable to secure admission for the courses that they are really interested in, they settle for Education because of lower cut-off marks and easier entry requirements. Perhaps something is wrong with such a system? We end up with teachers who are not particularly wanting to teach in the first place, but are teachers by reason of circumstances.

That is bad enough already. Consider also that many of them are unable to put a flawless sentence together in English, and the issues quickly get compounded. We also live in a world where things change fast. As such, the need for evaluations and re-training as often as possible. The idea is to spot individuals who need to be chucked out f the system, as well as individuals who can get better with some more training.

If anything, Nigeria needs a much stronger educational system, and not one in which any and every one can walk in to teach. Things are already bad as they are. Implementing strong evaluation and re-training processes into the system can only be a good thing. Otherwise, we can say goodbye to any hopes of things getting better. Without sound teachers, there can be no such hope.

DO NOT STIFLE CURIOSITY

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“Curiosity killed the cat”, is an old saying. It is used to caution people who let curiosity get the better of them. Here in Nigeria, our society is not traditionally encouraging of people who get curious. People are encouraged to stay with the lakes and the rivers that they know and are used to. As for the things that are strange or appear to have no explanation, we label them “dark” or “evil”. The evil forest. The dark river. The general attitude towards these things is that of keeping off. Don’t be curios; keep off and stay safe.

Yet, curiosity is a great driving force in learning. Whether it s Isaac Newton, some other great inventor, or the everyday person who discovers some new phenomenon or brings new ideas about how to do things, we will find that curiosity is key. So, an apple fell off a tree. Why not pick it up, clean it, eat and go on with your life? But curiosity asked why. Why did this fall from the tree? Why do apples and indeed all fruit fall to the ground? And thus began a quest for knowledge that has resulted in a discovery that has become one of the foundations for physics.

The question, Why? It has siblings like How? When? Where? What? In multiple fields around the world, students, teachers and practitioners keep asking these questions. It is the way forward. Curiosity is key to learning and should be encouraged.

Why does this stream have two outlets, and how is it that one outlet brings out cool water and the other warm? Questions. What can be done with this phenomenon? More questions. While curiosity may have killed the cat in that old story, it is because of curiosity that human civilization makes progress. It is how we learn best. When we go hunting out information and solutions for ourselves because we need convincing and because we need answers, we are at our best in the learning curve.

EXAMINATION ANXIETY

Most people can relate with that pounding in the chest, rumbling in the tummy, freezing in the limbs during or just before examination sessions (Oral or written).

Examination anxiety could be caused by various factors: student’s lack of confidence, presence of competition among other students/participants, expectations of family and friends and most importantly the gains of success and consequences of failure.

Teachers, Friends and families can take up a very effective role in overcoming exam anxiety by:

  • Encouraging student to talk about their concerns and listening carefully.
  • Providing support in preparation for the exam in any way possible.
  • Encouraging students to follow steps outline below.

Step 1-  Be careful of what you eat and drink during preparation and on the examination day.

Step 2- Get enough sleep. Six to eight hours are recommended. If you have trouble getting to sleep, ensure you get an hour break from revision session before jumping to bed.

Step 3- Take regular exercise.  Even if it is just a walk, exercising helps to use up the hormones and nervous energy produced when you are stressed, it  increases the blood flow around the body and can help you to think more clearly.

Step 4-: Control your breathing. If you notice that you are starting to feel very stressed,  try to regulate your breathing by concentrating on breathing out to a slow count of four; the breathing in will take care of itself. It will be helpful if you practise this exercise when you are not stressed so that you are very familiar with the technique when you actually need it.

Step 5- Make time for fun. Build leisure time into your revision days and the days that you sit your exams. Get involved in a non-academic activity, such as sports, crafts, hobbies or music. Anything that you find relaxing or enjoyable which will give you a break from thinking or worrying about your exams will be beneficial.

Step 6- Improve your study skills. Effective study skills make you feel more in control of your work and more confident that you will succeed. You might need a more resourceful text on the subject, a more quite place for reading, or need to take trial version of exams e.t.c.  It may also be useful to talk to your school course tutor to get subject specific advice to help make your revision more focused.