The Herald (Harare)

23 February 2013

Zimbabwe: Use Your After School Time Wisely

School can be a hassle at times. There is so much to cope with, from waking up early morning to spending hours in class. It is all in the name of getting a good education but it can become a little exhausting.

No wonder some students feel relieved when the siren goes off and it's time to go home. It is a welcome break that presents a chance to cool off.

Learning non-stop is not recommended because as a human being, your brain gets exhausted hence the need to rest. The brain is designed in such a way that its retention drops steadily making it difficult to grasp most of the stuff that is learnt at the end of lessons. That is why one is entitled to choose how to spend their well-deserved break from school. While some prefer sports and other extra-curriculum activities, others would rather laze around.

This brings us to a pressing issue that is especially relevant to day scholars. It might be a light issue to some but ask yourself, what are you up to every day after school? Whatever it is, is it constructive or destructive towards your school work? Rest assured that this is not one of those schemes we are plotting to get in the way of your "play" time. Your brains need revitalising after school otherwise your head might explode. The problem comes when students indulge in disorderly activities like what has become the norm these days.

After school hours, the street is a sorry sight with students meandering into internet cafes and play areas in the city centres. As we mentioned earlier, it is not a crime to hang out like this but one has to strive to do constructive activities especially during school days.

Concerns have been raised by parents, teachers, and store owners over the conduct of students after school. Without digging deep into that particular issue, our aim is to encourage the students to wisely use their time after school.

Morgan Chakara (17) from Chishawasha shared how he ended up cutting ties with his mates over their destructive behaviour after school.

"I learn at a boys high school and the problem with my friends was that after school we would go gang up and spend ages playing snooker at Old Fantasyland. A lot would happen there but I have since broken away from them. I now prefer to get home early and play video games," he said.

It is recommended to tone things down during the week then break lose when the weekend comes.

The learning mood should be sustained in order for one to be efficient the next day at school. One has assignments and school the following day to worry about so "playing" should be done in moderation.

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy but too much play and less work will not yield the best results when exams come. *wink*

One's life has to be organised at all times hence the need to follow a study timetable. When we wrote about these time tables during opening week, it came to light that study timetables do not only give a guideline to when one is to study. A study timetable can be used by students to manage their time in whatever they do.

"I am doing Form Three and since it is the beginning of O-Level, I have to limit my play time. I allocate myself two hours to catch up with my friends on our way home. Another two hours is for washing my uniforms and watching my favourite programmes on TV. By 7.30 I will be studying in my room," said Latoya Sithole.

It is not about depriving yourself of relaxation or having a timetable so strict you become miserable but one has to learn to make the right priorities. Besides, everything has its own time. Save playing for the holidays!

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