Pockets empty, pens ready, heads bent, its exam time!
Exams have dominated all conversations for the last month. The primary school leaving exam in P7 determines whether a child will continue to secondary school. Likewise the Senior 4 results (Gr. 10 approx.) determine whether students can continue and finish secondary school and then head to university. The pressure is intense and although the ministry seeks to tell children that their identity is not defined by their results it's evident that many children are under intense pressure to 'succeed.'
Last week as the P1 (Gr. 1) teacher listed off the exams her students write I couldn't believe my ears. Luganda phonograms, Luganda reading, English phonograms, math, Bible, P.E., arts and crafts . . .
"Arts and crafts," I ask. "How do you have an exam in that?!"
"Oh I test their colouring. They are given thirty minutes to colour a page accurately."
No wonder the heads are bent and the pens fly across the page with determination. They've had years and years of practise.