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It is true that in everyday life and encounter be it at home, schools, offices, on the street e.t.c, we never stop learning. Little wonder it is now said that illiterates are no longer those who cannot read and write, but those who have stopped or chosen to stop learning.
For the purpose of this write up, I describe a slow learner as one who is extremely very lazy or disincline to take any form of instruction that will enhance his or her academic pursuit/performance, trade, career or any form of engagement that could result to future development.
Agreed that in the process of learning (be it trade, career, academics e.t.c), we can make mistakes, but slow learners are very sluggish in their quest for knowledge and find it very difficult to accept the proper way of addressing any issue confronting them. There are equally reluctant learners in our school system but that category of children would be issue for another day.
Narrowing this down to our school system today, it is no mistake likening slow learners to a big challenge to contend with. A big challenge in the sense that due to their laxity in approach to learning irrespective of the method a teacher uses, the institution of learning and its instructors now become the ones parents of these children apportion the blame to.
On a closer look, I discovered some elements that drag a child/person back and make them slow while learning. These are:
The academic foundation of a child: Biblically, it is often said that if the foundation be destroyed, what can the righteous do. So, a child that is well groomed academically will certainly do well than the one with a faulty foundation. Agreed you must have taken the child to the best of school as a parent, be it from kindergating, to pre-nursery, to nursery and so on but how well was the child coping? Was he or she well furnished? Did he or she gets the basics as supposed?
For instance, when a child is taught what a noun is but not given examples of noun, he or she proceeds to the next class without knowing examples of noun and when examples of noun are used in his or her new class during teaching, they seem so strange to this child. This drags back their learning ability. It does not mean the child will not know this things, but he will only grab them at a more slower pace than his/her colleagues.
Parents: They are also very key in boosting or slowing down a child’s learning skills. This is because, some of them have on their own part, failed to coach their children or supervise their daily school assignments at home. They either leave it in the hands of house-helps, immediate elder brother or sister who often times, know little or nothing about the subject.
Some parents will even tell you boldly before the children how busy they are and do not have such time for their kids thus, any work load given to the children should be reduced for the children to do it on their own.
Most parents too are just two troublesome if you permit me to use that word. They are not interested in assessing their children. Sometimes, they even know the weaknesses of their ward but still, refuse to admit to it instead, transfer their children’s deficiency to the teachers.
Such parents automatically contribute to his or her ward becoming slow and backward in class while other children are guided by their parents on how to improve on what they are taught daily. The former category of parents see it as the sole duty of the teacher to do it all for the children which cannot be so.
Most times, they insult the teachers in the presence of their children and this gets registered in the head of the children involved, and they see the teacher as saying nonsense, resulting to their unwillingness to learn from the teacher intentionally.
On a general note, I discover that slow learners know what their teachers asked them to do but are extremely very lazy to meet up a given task or they simply learn to forget.
The challenge of the above mentioned category of children in our school system could finally result to:
Intimidation: Children who are slow learners usually feel intimidated by those doing well in class.
Inferiority complex: Due to inferiority complex, these children can even lock up more than ever. That is they can decide not to make any contribution no matter the technique the teacher or even the school will want to introduce to get the best out of them.
Half baked: The children leave the school less confident.
School image: The children ill-performance brings down the image and reputation the school has built over the years.
The big question is, do we abandon these ones? Obviously no, not at all.
We must not give up on them else they constitute public nuisance. Everybody has a role to play in this regard. The school authority must repeat the children if that will give a better result. The teachers need to give more time, attention and close supervision on such children.
The teachers must be patient with the children. On the part of the parents, they must not kill the morale of the teachers by insulting or condemning their performance or mistakes outrightly before their children. They must understand that the teachers mean well for the children and could be right sometimes.
What is your take on this issue?
Compiled by: Joy Nwateh-Leonard