It was amidst the misty and gloomy national school leaving exam result last week, the dismal performance started to run amok in my mind. From the frying pan to the fire, the ramification of what could have happened if the long-due social pathogen's treatment had been further delayed kicked in.

A friend posted a freshly renovated and lifted-up image of one of the historic houses in the capital on a social media page. Group members were excited to give positive feedback, except for one who was unhappy with the changes. He saw beyond the flashy, eye-catching alteration made. The house had been turned into a bar that sneaks underage students from a school across the street where he teaches.

No wonder this attention to detail is derived from a teacher to students, as it manifests in his struggle to boost their interest in the classroom.

Instantaneously, I correlated the same with the elementary and middle schools I attended and visited recently. The area is fast fading due to city centre development. It has operant conditioning from tranquility to lure minibus drivers for a Khat feast- an eyesore to a school ambiance with an unfriendly vibe.

Marking the exam papers is a scrutiny moment for the teachers. However, now comes the community’s share of the blame which is too frequently pointed at tutors for all the problems of education, even when the expectations are unrealistic for how they can fix societal ills and considering too meager resources. It is our duty to instigate the best in students. The glaring need to deal with crime, pollution, corruption, and poverty is wasting resources and attention that could have been earmarked to strengthen schools and students.

Aliteracy is like an invisible liquid seeping through our culture, impossible to pinpoint or defend against. It is the kid who spends hours with video games instead of books. There may be untold collateral damage in a society that can read but does not. So much of our culture is embedded in literature, says Philip A. Thompson, professor of communications, emphasising aliterate students miss out on cultural heritages.

The thought of my former school brings back memories of the list of teachers we managed to come up with friends whenever we met. How shocked we are by the list of teachers we have been able to incessantly and affectionately identify by their names while prodding their relentless examples as teachers through making their subjects interesting, along with how that impacted all our lives. We have always been in awe, with all the respect, even of those we could not remember the names of.

A teacher is a leader of education in the classroom with its very excess preoccupation, whose performance is measured by the least performing students in exams. The extent of the slightest interest from students in a subject in the classroom determines the gratification teachers get from their work. The recognition they get from the community shows nothing other than our future leadership lies in schools.

Elementary schools should nurture kids and teach foundation skills by turning them into learners who are critical and creative thinkers, and social beings. Their environment should be collectively well taken care of. Passionate teachers are well selected and the community actively involved in ensuring that the best behaviour is instilled.

I wish to put an all-screeching halt to the projects in town to focus on our schools, particularly the elementary ones attaching teachers to students and the school surrounding.

PUBLISHED ON Feb 04,2023 [ VOL 23 , NO 1188]

Tadesse Tsegaye (, a polyglot with experience in multicultural-cum-institutional settings in resources management.

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