There is more to life than Aggregate 4

Saturday January 25 2020

Min Atek

Min Atek 

By Min Atek

Last week, results of Primary Leaving Examinations were released. Traditional media was awash with the stories of pupils and parents celebrating the excellent grades scored. There were also mixed emotions and seemingly, some parents were not happy. This has happened over and over again through the years and it feels like script.
Many times, I have reflected on my score in primary school. The Aggregate 5 that enabled me to go to one of the most prestigious schools of our time and saved my very poor mother back then from the hassle of looking for schools. But many years later and with loads of hindsight, I can say there is more to life than one’s examination results. Does that mean good grades don’t matter? Far from it! Going to school and getting an excellent education is a key thing in life. Every child deserves a decent education. Everyone should experience school. School gives us a structure and helps us discover ourselves. School creates an environment where we relate and commune with others as well as creates lifelong networks. But there is more than meets the eye and our schooling experience is just but a fraction. Results from the examinations should not glorify or destroy the child. Some of the brightest children in my primary school days are a dim reflection of their former selves. Yet some of the not so brilliant people are doing significantly well in life. In fact, in some cases, the ‘weak’ ones are the ones employing the ones who scored highly. I attended the celebrations of the Ekisakaate kya Nabagereka recently, an annual event by the Buganda Kingdom, designed to groom and nurture boys and girls in the age range of six to 18 years. I watched and listened as children showcased what they had learnt. I smiled when my child who went for the training crying, proudly said he would go back for the same training the coming year. I am always awed by life’s realities. I firmly believe every parent should create as many opportunities as possible for their children to experience life. To grow not just academically, but socially, economically, culturally, morally, physically and more. Experiences from those spaces shape the mindset and tenacity of the child to creatively and successfully navigate the dynamic, rigorous and unpredictable waters of life. A child should be encouraged to score highly in all facets but also know that there is life past one’s scores in school.