Article > WHY SHOULD MY CHILD REPEAT?
It is sad that nowadays many schools just keep promoting students to the next class whether or not they have done well in the class they are currently in & have shown the capacity to move on to the next class. Some parents get quite emotional about the possibility that their children will have to stay back & repeat their class. Interestingly though, you will think the parents will be most concerned about the “economics” of the decision, (having to pay school fees all over again), but for the most part they are not. They are more concerned about “how it will look”. Wait a minute! How will it look to whom? Do people really care about how many years it took you to get through primary school or secondary school? Or about how well educated you are and how you have applied your education to adding value to yourself and society?
The truth is that nobody ever goes for an interview for a job or for a business loan to expand his/her business and is asked “how long did you spend in primary school?” While the world may be concerned about the quality of your grades, people seldom care about how quickly you achieved those grades or if you had to stay back for a year, especially when you do have really good grades eventually, and you are not more than a couple of years behind your “age-mates”.
In years gone by some parents actually requested that their child repeat a class even where the child’s academic performance qualified them to be promoted to the next class, simply because they knew the child was not quite matured enough to move to the next class. Many parents of today do not want to hear the phrase “Repeat the class”. Never, not their child, even when it is glaring that it is in the best interest of the child. It makes one wonder – what has happened to parents of today?
These days, parents are reluctant to have their emotionally immature children complete Primary Six – not because the children have such fantastic academic abilities that warrant a well-deserved transition from Primary Five to secondary school, but just because they want to “fast-track” their children through life. This is consistent with the biggest ills of our society today: fast-foods; instant coffee; micro-wave dinners; over-night success; half-baked professionals and leaders. Worse still, for some parents, it is not even about fast-track, it is just about following the “Joneses”. The possibility of parent-motivated repeating is almost zero, and the chances of parent acquiescence to school directed repeating without a fight or a threat of withdrawal, is similarly low in these days of “instant everything”.
Children that have to stay back a class may suffer some emotional challenges, but with good counselling, love and support from the parents and the school, these children can learn to fail forward, and achieve even more success in future. Remember, if learning is about identifying gaps (NOT THERE YET) and working hard to fill the gaps (GET THERE), then staying back in a class gives students the opportunity for more DELIBERATE PRACTICE that is required for sustainable success. Think about real life leaders who have had to repeat several times to achieve success - Barack Obama, Muhammadu Buhari and Abraham Lincoln needed to repeat a few times to get what they wanted; Thomas Edison, the Wright Brothers, Albert Einstein and Mark Zuckerberg had to do so too. The difference is that these people learned to “fail forward”. Their stories are told today, with the many failures that trailed them, and still we are applauding them. Success is not about how fast, but how well. So if your child has been asked to stay back a class at the end of the school year, don’t fight it, embrace it – as an opportunity for your child to get more practice, become better, and prepare for the countless other “hiccups”, “failures” and “repeats” that are a certitude in adult life.
Culled from an Article by Mr. Omagbitse Barrow. Learning impact NG. firstname.lastname@example.org