30 January 2013

Uganda: Preparing Children for New Academic Year


Next week, schools will open for the new academic year. This calls for parents to start planning and preparing children to start thinking about academics.

This requires psychological, physical, mental and material preparation. You do not have to do the preparations at the last minute. You can start by reading through the school circular or the parents' letter from school.

Look at the reporting date and the requirements as set by the school. Let the children check their belongings and list the new items they require. This will help you plan and budget better.

You do not have to wait to shop or pay school fees on the last day. It is advisable to buy scholastic items now when prices are still low.

Check your child's report once again and together with the children discuss their previous year's academic performance. This will help the children set their goals for the academic year.

Some schools start with beginning-of-term examinations and the scores partly contribute to the end of term results. The best way to refresh your child's brain is by encouraging them to revise their last term's work, after their daily chores. Do not wait for the last week of the holiday, to remind them to revise their books. They should continuously revise their books during the holidays.

During revision, encourage them to read notes and past papers for the academic class they are joining.

However, parents should not focus on preparing the children for academics alone. For the remaining week, teach your children, especially those in boarding schools about personal hygiene. Teach them how to bathe, trim nails and do laundry and how to be tidy and orderly. You will be sure that the cleanliness culture will continue at school, even in your absence.

More so, do not forget to teach your children to be cautious. There is a growing rate of defilement and children need to be taught the best ways to avoid being defiled or raped as they plan to leave the comfort of your home to resume schooling.

According to the 2011 crime annual report, defilement cases are on the rise, having shot up from 7,564 to 7,690 cases in just one year.

The figures indicate an increase in defilement in our communities.

I wish you the best of luck as you prepare your children for the forthcoming academic year.

The writer is a parent


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