I hate studying
The columnist Nazneen Gulamhussein Mukhtar (Arusha, Tanzania) is the headmistress of Yaadgare Murtazawi Madressa, She is a mother to five children and loves writing and reading. She always wanted to inspire children – her favourite audience. Writing has been her passion for as long as she can remember and believes that effective learning takes place through storytelling.
I hate revision, thought Salma. The little girl was naughty and wanted to play all day long. She hated it when exams were near. Her mother wanted her to sit and read and she did it only forcefully to please her mother.
Her brothers and sisters always revised well, and were top of the class. Salma thought it was not such a big deal. She didn’t think it really mattered. Whenever she was in the class and the teacher was teaching a new and important topic, Salma did not pay attention at all. That was the main reason why the revision was so hard for the little girl.
When she got her papers and many times the result was not that good, she tried to hide it from her Mother, but in the end, she had to show them and then what a scolding she got! Salma was already nine years old and soon she would have her National Exam for std. 4.
Everyone seemed excited about the Nationals. Her friends were revising and the teachers gave them all sorts of boring exercises to do as well. Salma tried to finish her lessons but didn’t want to revise and toil over her studies.
At home, her mother forced her to sit with her Science or Geography book and she did so with little or no concentration. It was the first term Nationals. She and the others were going to another school to do the exams. Naturally, that was a nice change. Salma liked the idea of finishing the papers fast and running off to discover what type of school it was. Therefore she always did her papers faster than the rest. Then she would run over the Playground or take long walks and the sunny weather and beautiful playground cheered her up a lot. So whilst the others were worried about how tough the papers were going, she was in a little world of her own.
Salma was really enjoying her walk when she suddenly saw her class Teacher sitting under one of the beautiful trees with another Teacher who was her science Teacher. They didn’t see her and were talking and Salma did not want to hear what they were saying but when she heard her name being mentioned she could not help but hear what they were saying. She was standing behind them so they didn’t see her at all.
Her teacher was saying, “Yes Salma! Oh! That girl is so playful…in fact, all she ever does is play around!”
The other Teacher said, “But she is really smart otherwise…it’s just that she can’t be bothered!”
“well!” said her Teacher, “I have given up trying to encourage her.. there are some girls who just don’t care…it’s a pity, she might have been one of the best. Don’t you know her sister did so well in O Levels? In fact, she was one of the best pupils…I think in the end Salma will always be a loser!”
“I would not say she is a loser..but she can certainly do better. Maybe she doesn’t care about what her parents feel. You know how parents feel when their children make the silliest mistakes? Now today we are doing National Papers, and you can see how excited the children are..each and every child is trying his/her best.. but look at Salma! Did you see how quickly she did her work? I am sure she must have made many blunders!”
“Yes! Especially in maths.. that’s my subject. Well, I think I pity her a bit…it’s not good to get low marks you know. But she doesn’t care, so what’s the use?”
“Ha ha! Well, all I can say is I wish my other students do well. I would be so proud if one of our students got top marks!”
Salma went further away.. she could not bear to hear any more. Suddenly she realized what a fool she had been. She knew they were saying the truth, but indeed, the truth was bitter. She felt herself going red with anger, anger at herself, for being a target for such comments. Then she thought, do I really care about my parents feelings? Of course, I do!
Then she remembered how quickly and roughly she had done the papers, and in the end, she would be the one to lose not anyone else. Salma was quite subdued all evening at home too. Mummy knew something was wrong.
So she took her youngest daughter in her arms and said, “Dear! Why are you so sad, you must tell me so that I can help you!”
“I don’t know Mummy! You may not like what I have to tell you! I have done the Papers roughly, and now I realize that I don’t revise and am so careless! I am a loser Mummy!” she started crying.
“You are not a loser darling! For me, you are very very special! But I am glad you have realized this.Inshallah from now onwards you will work very hard!”
“Mummy! Do you mean you forgive me? Wow! Thanks mummy! And yes! I will certainly work very hard from now onwards…in fact, I am going to change over a new leaf. I am going to make you all proud of me…I am going to be really serious”. Her mother smiled a very nice smile and hugged her tightly.
Children, are you often lazy and don’t revise? Do you want to make your parents sad? I am sure you would not like to do that. So why don’t we all change over a new leaf and take things seriously? Then we will really do our best and nothing would stop us. Let us think about how we can begin from today!
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