“If this play is a success, I would have demonstrated that determination is greater in worth with than numbers.” This is Jusper talking to Tumbo in Francis Imbuga’s Immortal Betrayal in the City.

The above quote aptly captures a life truism that persistence pays however lengthy and convoluted the journey is. KCSE 2014 examination is weeks away and as each day passes the candidates are in two disparate camps. One, well prepared and appetizingly waiting to walk majestically into the examination halls while the other limping like lambs going into a slaughter house.

exam roomIn Kenya, an examination is normally a matter of life and death. The question is, ‘should a three week exam be enough to be a yardstick in a student’s twelve year or more academic life?’

Precisely, that is the naked reality that we have to grapple with. It must be mentioned however that success is a matrix of many variables intertwined intricately. It is also relative and never absolute.

successSome people equate success to achievement while to others it is synonymous to good grades. As we start sending trucks of cards wishing our beloved well, let us all realize there is life beyond examination results. I once heard somebody remark, “Good results are necessary, but better than that is what you do with the results.” I can’t be persuaded more. To most parents and teachers good grades epitomize success. The means justify the end. Hardly. No wonder some have become victims of their own success.

When results are neither presentable nor palatable, then rants and “…I told you…” become the norm. In spite of any positive effort or cumulative achievements one has gathered over the years. It reminds me of Cyprian Ekwensi’s short story, Laws of the Grazing Fields where Amina laments about her boyfriend Yalla when she is manhandled by her brother.

awesome“Yalla was to have come to the hut at the hour when the hyenas begin to howl over the grazing fields. He was to scratch in the manner peculiar to the grey howl that steals chickens and she would then know that he was waiting for her under the dorowa tree.” When plans go awry the blame must be placed at somebody’s doorstep.

Then, how does one prepare for the last lap? Unbeknown to most students, confidence is the fulcrum that allows them to comfortably navigate through exams with a constant velocity. Confidence is gained through proper and early syllabus coverage. In my school we manage this by end of third term in Form 3. No wonder then that our results walk beyond the talk. That’s Pioneer for you!

KCSEoldage251013Besides confidence, students must be prepared on how to answer questions and exam time management. One may have knowledge in abundance but inadequate in answering questions as per instructions.

A conducive examination environment is where there is constant and continuous teacher interaction, friendly and supportive classmates together with a listening administration.

When we harness the above with a student who thinks in a vector manner then with God on our side surely success will magnetically attract us.

no biggie“I’m going to think about reasons why I can succeed in each venture I consider and ignore that long list of reasons why I can’t. Attitude, not intelligence is the great success maker.” –Walter A. Heisy

By Mr. Odhiambo <Math and Business-ED>
Pioneer School