I have recently started teaching a course called Life Skills to the  grade 8’s once a week. It covers topics such as relationships, personal health, sexuality, study skills – which are greatly needed by these kids. While I feared the kids wouldn’t take it seriously as it is a non-promotional course (doesn’t matter if they pass or fail it) which requires them to open up and be honest, I was wrong. They have really taken to it and even appear to be enjoying it.  The colourful, brand new text books help too!

Last week’s topic was motivation. When we started the lesson, they had no idea what the word meant but by the end of it, they were giving honest answers about their own motivations. Their assignment was to divide a blank sheet of paper into four quarters and in each quarter they had to respond to the questions below. I was shocked by some of their extremely honest answers. So, I thought I would share some of their precious responses with you!

Why do I come to school?

• I want money. • Because if you don’t come to school, you will become a criminal. • To learn so you can know everything. • I come to school to know English to help grandmother by reading letter for her. • Don’t want to stay home and do work. • Want a car and to leave village.

What stops me from doing my best?

• Drink alcohol and you cannot learning. • When I am feeling hungry and become weak. • Sometime I just lazy. • When my eyes is not look when air is blowing and sun is shining – I need spectacles. • Sometimes I remember bad things that was happened to me long time ago. • I am very angry.

How can I do better?

• Speak English in class. • I can be serious with homework. • I can do better when I ask for support in prayer.

Why is school important?

• To have a good life. • When you go to school you make life easy. • To not have hunger. • You will become a leader at your village because you know a lot. • Because education is the key of life (which is the school slogan!). • After finish my school to return what my family have done for me. • It will help your family. If you are poor, you will become rich in mind.

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