“Can you believe that in the last paper on Integrated Science, student were asked to name forms of energy and one student wrote’ energy gives our teacher strength to flog’ as his answer?” Mr Nwokedi narrated. “What? You mean the student…….oh my God!” said Mr Francis Egbe in mock alarm and all the teachers burst out laughing.”You people cannot believe that one SS1 student wrote bible stories for me instead of solving the Mathematics question set for them” ,narrated Mr Jude Ideh, the Maths teacher. “They are the leaders of tomorrow and I wonder what that tomorrow will look like. ” Mrs Joy Ike said. “Not all of them are bad eggs. Few of them are diligent and are showing promise of being stars,” Mr Nwokedi said. “It’s true but they are pitiably few”, said Mrs Joy Ike with a heavy sigh and a rueful shake of her head. “Anyway, we”ll be trying our best. Regrettably though you can take a horse to the stream but you cannot force it to drink, ” Mr Nwokedi said. “Exactly, but we will not because of the fear of death refuse to go to war” , Mrs Ezinne Ogbonnaya said. “The problem with most of them they cannot bend down and read not that they are dullards. A student that can name all the actors in Nollywood and narrate with remarkable details act by act and scene by scene the films he has watched is certainly not a dullard, “Mr Francis Egbe pointed out. “There are some JSS1 student that impressed me last term. One of them, Daniel Nwankwo got only one answer wrong and his neat and legible handwriting made me give him extra marks. Unfortunately, his marks came to 104% and i had to remove the extra marks i gave him” ,Mr Nwokedi narrated. “That’s good but i pray he keeps it up. Some student who show promise of being bright in the junior secondary school have a way of sliding backwards when they are in the senior secondary school, “said Mrs Joy Ike. “Don’t be a pessimist. I believe he will keep it up. I, personally, will make sure that i give him all the encouragement he needs, “Mr Nwokedi said. “You and your children, “Mrs Ezinne teased him. One day, their English teacher, Mrs Kate Nwannah, was teaching Daniel and his colleagues about the “Noun”. She told them to turn some words from verb form to noun form. “Now turn this verb form to noun form “His depart) caused a stir”, Mrs Kate Nwannah said as she wrote the sentence on the board. Many hands went up in the air. “Yes, Kelechi Ogwuma”, Mrs Kate Nwannah called. “Aunt,his departure caused a stir.” “Good, now turn this,’He was told to go the hospital for proper(diagnose)'” All the student kept quiet as they racked their rain for the answer. Daniel raised his hand when the silence became too long. “Yes.” “He was told to go the hospital for proper diagnosis.” “Correct! Excellent! Clap for him”,Mrs Kate Nwannah said in a voice that showed that she was highly impressed. “I know that most of you the word strange and difficult. Daniel, how did you come about the answer?” “Aunt, I remember coming across the word one day when i was reading my father’s newspaper,”Daniel replied. “B-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l! Class, i have been emphasizing to you the importance of reading far and while in order to enhance your vocabulary. Can you see one of the benefits? There are many invaluable things you can learn from books which your teachers or parents may not have the opportunity to teach you. If knowledge is power, then pursue it by reading good books newspapers, magazines etc. Daniel, your reading habit is very good. please, keep it up! if you do so, I see you going places and they sky is your limit. It is said that readers are leaders.” Daniel felt warm at the teacher’s praise. Very soon, Daniel’s name started ringing bell in the school because he was always neat, well-behaved and above all, performed wonderfully well in his academics. The school’s Guidance and Counselling Department invited Daniel and his friends one day or a chat. The Guidance Counselors did not believe in fire brigade approach to issues. They believed a bad egg who normally failed his test or examination before they talked to the student. They believed that prevention is better than cure. So, they would not wait until a student entered one for discussion. They believed that encouragement and praise could help student to avoid messing up their lives.
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