One of the biggest concerns related to the closing of schools during the Covid-19 pandemic is naturally the fate of final year candidates. When and how will they sit for exams (KCPE and KCSE) is top of the discussions surrounding the effects of school closures. The local education system (and many others worldwide) is exam-oriented and hardly does it consider other aspects of life such as the heart of a child.
In his song “Someni Vijani” Henry Makobi urges the youth to study and work hard in school so that they are assured good jobs at the end of it all. The reality of this can be disputed but generally we can agree good exam grades are the gateway to coveted professional courses and careers. Passing exams is a very big deal and understandably so.
St Andrew’s School, Turi being a boarding school means we are responsible for more than just ensuring attainment of academic success of learners. Developing the mind is an important part of our mandate, but there’s more; the heart, body and soul of our pupils matter just as much. As such, we have over the years developed a strong pastoral care programme.
Academic “giants” are known for churning out the “greatest” scientists, artists, business moguls, politicians and leaders in all fields. We commonly define these people-of-note by their academic and professional achievements and seldom by who they are internally.
A brilliant teacher, a talented musician, a smart CEO, a creative architect; these people are all great to have in the society. But they would be that much better if they had empathy, compassion and love for others, wouldn’t they? This would mean, they would work not just to succeed in their careers and reap the economic and social benefits but they would use their knowledge and resources to make the world a better place.
As Nelson Mandela put it, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” For many, school is the building where you go in knowing nothing and come out with a piece of paper that proves you know something. This paper is what we recognize as an “education” and it often defines and determines your future and standing in society. At Turi, We believe there should be more to an individual
Just like any other school, we are filled with pride to hear that our alumni have gone on to do great things career-wise. However, it is absolutely heartening to hear that they are doing something, big or small- to change the world. To prepare them for this, we encourage them to begin doing something now, young and inexperienced as they may be. Typically, during the normal school term pupils are engaged in different activities from raising money for their less-fortunate peers around the Turi community to strengthening their mental health. All this count in our overall assessment of a pupil’s growth and achievement at school.
Even with our virtual learning programme we are looking to help our children grow in empathy and self-awareness, show compassion and understanding for those around them.At the beginning of this virtual term the Prep School pupils were challenged to make a positive impact by using their passions in a purposeful way, dubbed ‘Passion Projects’.
They were given five weeks, working alongside mentors, to identify a ‘real life’ (personal, local or world) problem that they could solve in some way.The five weeks ends today, which is the project submission deadline. Working on these passion projects has encouraged them to;
- Develop an awareness of the world around them
- Ask questions
- Develop their critical thinking skills
- Solve problems
The projects will be judged by a panel based on carefully considered criteria and awards will be given next week to the best.
While there are limits to what they can do, there is no limit to how much they will grow simply from critically looking at the world around them and wanting to make some improvements.
We will be sharing more on the pupil’s projects. Meanwhile, learn more from the video below.