Treasure your ‘dull’ primary and secondary school child

Simbarashe Murima, [email protected] 

Education at whichever level is an essential aspect of a child’s life. Every parent wishes and prays for their children’s educational success and esteemed career pathway endeavours.

Some parents wholeheartedly sacrifice for their children by providing them with all the needed resources and enrolling them in private and good public primary and secondary schools.

Then again some of these children along their teaching and learning undertakings perform dismally and fail to impress themselves and their parents or guardians collectively.

As a result, some parents forlornly seek spiritual stimulation from pastors and prophets to augment the learner’s metacognitive knowledge skills but to no avail.

Scientifically, children progress effectively through different stages of learning and each representing varying intellectual abilities and world understanding.

There are various reasons for failure of primary and secondary school learners to perform as expected, and the reasons could be psychological, social and economic.

Conversely, some of these schoolchildren have reached a deficient performance level by deteriorating below a sound academic standard representation.

According to research, choking or pushing your child to excel in school can damage his/her self-esteem, confidence and willingness to learn.

Constant stress from parents to pressure their children to perform better impedes their identity formation, specifically at the primary and secondary educational levels which will lead them to feel academically nugatory.

Though it may differ from cultures on how to aptly discipline and raise a child, the parent or guardian should desist from using insults or critical language when interacting or helping his/her child with homework or projects as they will turn that criticism and insults on themselves which may affect them in the long run.

In addition, high amounts of stress due to knowledge acquisition pressure from parents or guardians positions a child at an advanced risk of developing dejection and other mental maladies.

Rather, parents should encourage their ‘dull’ child to do their best in given tasks, and focus more on the process rather than the end result.

The term ‘dull’ in this context is unprejudiced and is not used to disrespect or shame any child or parent experiencing the aforementioned circumstances but to draw attention on the subject matter to construct meaning to this article.

Every learner represents potential.

Just keep your cool!

Amusingly, most of those ‘dull’ perceived primary and secondary school children will become much more successful in life, either in businesses, sports, and added education (PhD holders) etc. as compared to those brilliant ones who may end up performing poorly at tertiary level and in life generally.

Some of my colleagues at Sizane High School in Bulawayo, who were so extremely intelligent, and one would expect them to become geologists, medical doctors, lawyers, engineers etc became teachers, nurses, professional welders, police officers and retailers.

Having a bright and intelligent child at primary and secondary school level does not guarantee him/her a very successful and admired career feat in the future.

Therefore, I seek to advise parents and guardians blessed with intelligent and academically gifted primary and secondary learners to humbly respect the learning, result and life processes.

They should not precipitately celebrate or brag about their children’s achievements before reaching higher tertiary learning levels where they will have an upper hand in making informed decisions on their career  growths.

Treasure your ‘dull’ primary and secondary school child as he or she will become more efficacious and successful in their livelihoods.

λ Simbarashe Murima (PhDc) is a Research Fellow and writes in his personal capacity as an Education, Tourism and Hospitality expert in Namibia and Zimbabwe. He can be contacted via email [email protected] or through phone +263781480742 or +264813506563 (WhatsApp)

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