This is my own story . I am compelled to share it here to encourage teachers, parents and learners to be patient with children in the classrooms and homes when the child appears not to make any headway academically. We don’t need to call them names or even utterly give up on them in despair!
When I was in the primary school( Abura Dunkwa Methodist Primary School, Central Region, Ghana) at around the age of ten, I couldn’t pronounce two letter words, not to talk of reading a sentence. Just going through school like that without any guided assistance from my teachers( because we were more than 50 in that class-primary 5).
None came from home because my two parents were illiterates. And so my story on academic state continued worrying.
Then I got repeated in primary 5. At this point my mother( may her beautiful soul rest in peace) moved me to the Western Region of Ghana and settled in a small town called Wassa Wantram. I was admitted to primary 5 again, though I could neither read nor solve any mathematics. So I repeated the class.
However, when the other pupils joined me in that class, I saw myself bigger than all of them by size, and so I said to myself, “I won’t allow these little ones to beat me in this class.” And so I started struggling on my own to try to read some two and three letter words.
Then we got to chapter 6 of our English Textbook. The title of that chapter was “Lost In The Forest.” This was my breakthrough. When the teacher first read the story to the class, it instantly struck the chord of my interest. I kept mimicking how the teacher read the text, without getting any meaning, but simply read. Then I discovered something: I saw that the words in that particular chapter could be found in other books and materials like newspapers and magazines. And so I tried to transfer that knowledge to this new materials which were not in chapter 6.
In this process, I then met a friend, Akwesi Frederick who was almost my age but was in a secondary school. We became so close that we sometimes slept in my house or theirs. Frederick would bring ‘strange’ materials from school and challenge me to read them if I could. In this way, I finally got the monkey of the inability to read off my back. I was about 13 years!
Since then, my academic growth has been astronomical.
Every pupil or student has the ability to succeed in educational pursuits. All we need to do is the strive to find what interests that child and then use those things to encourage or even entice them to read.
NO CHILD IS A DULLARD.