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Critical Thinking Workshop Report from Mother Givers Humanist School in Buhanga - March 29, 2018

Posted: Fri, March 30, 2018 | By: Past Projects

by Masereka Sebastian


Target: Older Pupils At Mother Givers Humanist School and Teachers; 107 students and 7 teachers attended the workshop

Time spent: The workshop/training took 4 hours

The problem: 65% of students who participate in one examination or the other come out with poor results even after they have taken enough time to adequately prepare for their examinations.

We realized that there are many factors leading to poor academic performances of pupils especially in rural schools like Mother Givers Humanist School.

Superstitions leading to poor academic performance (dangerous)

In discussing with the students we discovered that there are superstitions that lead to poor academic performance in schools

1. Believing that traditional witch doctors who are always older men and women can give wisdom to pass exams; some pupils pay hens, or coin money to seek knowledge from them. Sometimes students are told by those witchdoctors that they will be given powerful medicine that will make examination supervisors sleep so that they may copy exams.

2. The belief that prayers make students pass their exams. So when it is towards examinations students will spend most of the time praying so that they are assured of passing exams.

3. The belief that if you let your pens, pencils, mathematical sets sleep in church, mosque or on grave which you will to do exams with, then you will pass your exams.

4. Poor teaching approaches like saying “my religion is a strict miraculous teaching method that everyone has to follow in order to have success in exams.”

With the students, it was concluded that all the above points cannot increase academic performances, they rather create reluctance in students leading to many examination failures.

Other causes of poor academic performance

Stress and emotional factors; E.G in case a student has so many thoughts related to need to have sex and he/she can’t have it etc.

Absenteeism, beating children at school, lack of scholastic materials, limited knowledge on the importance of education, extensive reading during times of exams, lack of enough practice, lack of school fees, weakness in language expressions, teachers being poorly paid, going to school hungry, poor learning environment and copying exams among others.

Solutions Suggested

Teachers must avoid poor teaching approaches for ideal results in education like sayin “my religion is a strict miraculous teaching method that everyone has to follow in order to have success like passing exams.” And students should strictly avoid depending on prayers or witch doctors to improve on their academic performances.

We related this to an incident that led to the death of the royal guards of RWENZURU KINGDOM in Kasese Uganda who were killed by the Uganda Soldiers. The royal guards depended on the witch doctors thinking that their bodies would be bulletproof (They were defeated).

Teachers were told not to cane students as this makes children afraid.

We told students that practice makes perfect and that they should always start the reading early.

Students must know why they are in school.

Students should always research from other students and teachers on question approaches in order to improve on academic performance and pass exams.

Teachers were told that: “Don’t just teach your children to read, teach them to question what they read and everything.”

Students were told that:Teachers cannot teach everything, students can learn by themselves as it is indeed the case any student with poor performance is both an ethical and cognitive serious motive for concern.”

Conclusion: This workshop was participatory, students/pupils and teachers participated. The workshop will help students to improve on their academic performance and at the same time help the teachers to assess the students.

Thank you very much




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