End of Term Blues

8th April 2019

The Across the Board Tests and the Mid Year Examinations are all done and dusted – finally! It’s nearly the end of the second term at Marina International and the children are on Cloud Nine now that exams are over and they are able to let off steam after a hectic three months of hard work.

And who can blame him? Sometimes exam questions can be SO confusing!

This school is quite old-fashioned to the extent that it gives such extreme priority to exams and doing well academically with teaching practice based on archaic principles like employing ‘setting’ to group students according to their level of ability – something I can’t even recall ever experiencing in my childhood back in the sixties in Ceylon, let alone in the years and decades that followed after I became a teacher. I have always taught mixed-ability classes and consider that to be the most realistic as well as the most effective categorisation of pupils in order to maximise their learning.

However, it has been an uphill struggle to convince other teaching colleagues who do agree with me on principle but are reluctant to change the methods they’ve been using for years and years at Marina.

Anyway, end-of-term deadlines have been met and all those (oh so important!) marks and grades have been entered online and reports emailed to the parents. The term ends with the usual Parent-Teacher Consultation Day on Thursday April 11th.

After that there will be a two-week break and school resumes for the third and final term soon after Easter.

It amazes me that we are about to complete two academic terms here! It’s hard to imagine how we survived these past seven months in The Gambia.

Paul and I were toying with the idea of going over the border to Senegal for a short holiday but gave up the idea after we had to dip into our savings to buy our air tickets back to the UK (Paul) and to Sri Lanka (the kids and I) over the upcoming summer holiday.

So it’ll be another quiet stay-at-home break and I will miss the company of my English Department colleagues! I have, however, decided to use the time to edit my manuscript over those two weeks – something I had planned to do during the Christmas break but failed due to sheer lack of self-discipline!

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