LITERATURE BUSINESS IS SERIOUS BUSINESS
1.Our last post titled “20 pointers” from our College adopted a ‘ceteris paribus’ (all things being equal) condition for all literature candidates.However school administrators know better.There were exceptions among the students in the school arising from certain situations.
2.Arts and social science students who joined Mason College in SS3 after arriving from other schools with lesser love and affection for the subject.When any of these students decided to be a Literature candidate in WAEC/NECO/JAMB the ceteris paribus condition no longer held and something extra to the “20 pointers” was needed to prepare him or her adequately for the exams.
3…Former science students of other schools repeating WAEC/NECO/JAMB exams in Mason College. When any student from this group had a change of mind by preferring arts or social sciences on their own volition or by suggestions from their parents it became obvious that with Literature included as an examination subject the school had to rise up to face new challenges from such a choice.
4…Science students who joined us in SS2 from other schools and who by school policy had to take Literature compulsorily in Mason College despite not taking it in SS1 of their former schools constituted another hardy exception.
5…Regular Mason College students who were weak in the subject whose names were compiled from terminal or promotional exams could not be left out from the group of exceptions.
6..The sudden departure of a strategic Literature tutor and the length of time usually taken to recruit,retrain and motivate a new one to the level of performance expected by the school was sometimes too long leading to disruptions in the “20 pointer” strategies.
7…Some tutors were too slow or uncooperative and actually attempted to handle lectures on their own terms and paces.
8…In some cases administrative lapses on the time-table accounted for breaches of the ceteris paribus situation.For example where literature class periods were converted for more urgent needs in Maths,English Language or the Sciences and were never replaced leading to loss of time within a very tight schedule for the subject could also have strangulated parts of the “20 pointers” .But were they allowed to?
9.All these exceptions had to be addressed or tackled in one way or the other and the relevant questions were “How?” and ‘What other steps or measures had to be taken to improve student performances or get them more interested in the subject? However, the school had a robust and capable Languages Department which was headed by thorough technicians and guided every step of the way by the Director of Studies himself.It was through this group that a plan called THE BLITZKRIEG TECHNIQUE came into being.
SO WHAT IS BLITZKRIEG?
10.“Blitzkrieg” (German)was a military plan by Nazi Germans during the Second World War made up of a sudden attack intended to achieve victory within a short time. It was a desperate plan against the Allies which worked when started. Unfortunately Germany was usually too weak to follow-up with needed support because it was fighting on too many fronts with too many enemies. But it was a plan that earned some respect for Germany from her enemies.
11.Wikipedia describes it as follows “Blitzkrieg (German, “lightning war)… a method of warfare whereby an attacking force spearheaded by a dense concentration of armored and motorized or mechanized infantry formations, and heavily backed up by close air support forces a breakthrough into the enemy’s rear through a series of deep thrusts; and once in the enemy’s rear, proceeds to dislocate them by utilizing speed and surprise, and then encircle them…..”
12.In today’s tame parlance the BLITZKRIEG TECHNIQUE would probably have been classified as a “NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND” policy .But to our school management the tasks consequent from the exceptions listed under paragraphs 2 -8 above were very daunting for a school which meant business like Mason College. Teaching Literature effectively was no laughing matter at all.It was serious business.Serious to the extent that a parent with a PH.D degree in English Language working at the Nigerian Education Research and Development Council (NERDC) came to the school one day to meet our literature tutors and give them kudos for the excellent work she had noticed in her child!
13.Above all it was to convey the seriousness of the school and the emergency nature of the problems portrayed through each exception.It meant war on these problems over a short period until each student was evaluated for evacuation from the emergency status.Please forgive us for trying to solve “ordinary secondary school problems” with tactics from an unfortunate war. But it was very effective in conveying what was on ground then to tutors and students.This was evidenced by the school’s results in WAEC/NECO Literature in the years that followed.
14.But then how was the BLITZKRIEG TECHNIQUE applied in the school?’. To do this let us described the regular period available for literature through the school time-table called the AUTO-PILOT PLAN
THE AUTO PILOT PLAN
15.In the “20 pointers” tutors were expected to cover all relevant texts for each academic year by the close of the second term. The implication of this was that the coverage of Literature for both WAEC and NECO ended latest by March 31st. Projected backwards, the school wisely planned all strategies, lecture and tests to cover 1st and 2nd term while allocating 8 weeks of 3rd term for revisions by JS1/JS2/SS1/SS2 students. Taking actual lecture calendars into consideration the school secured an overall 16 weeks for both terms for final preparations of both JS3 and SS3 classes. This 16 weeks were then multiplied by 3 periods per week provided on the time-table giving a total of 48 school periods. This was further distributed over the three genres of DRAMA,PROSE AND POETRY with some allocations also made for literary terms.The hours/days for these lectures were between 8am to 3pm from Mondays to Fridays.
16,All students of literature in the school including those identified under paragraphs 2- 5 above attended and no students with special problems were identified for special treatment or separation from their class mates.It was called the AUTO PILOT PLAN because it needed no special attention from the Vice-Principals for Academics or for Remedial Studies.They could keep their eyes closed believing that tutors were handling those classes according to the “20 Pointers’ given in the last post.But what made the BLITZKRIEG TECHNIQUE different from the AUTO-PILOT PLAN?
THE BLITZKRIEG TECHNIQUE
17.It was planned specially for only students under paragraphs 2-5 above.
18.The classes took place after school hours between 3.30pm and 5.30 pm from Mondays to Thursdays and on Saturdays between 10am and 4.pm according to period allocations on the schools REMEDIAL STUDIES time-table.
19.The idea generally was to secure 3hrs more per week for remedial work in literature for students concerned.
20.These classes had an in/out policy which was effected after review of mid-term or terminal exam performances in Literature by students concerned.So like a blitzkrieg it was short-term and depended on improvements observed.
BUT WHAT EXACTLY WAS THE EMERGENCY CONTENT OR CONTEXT PASSED ON TO STUDENTs UNDER THE BLITZKRIEG TECHNIQUE TO HELP THEM OVERCOME SOME OF THE EXCEPTIONAL SITUATIONS? WE INTEND TO LIST THESE IN OUR NEXT POST.
TO BE CONTINUED.
- For Past Post Utme Questions and Some Answers Visit This Page (edupedianigeria.wordpress.com)
- Waec/neco Literature in English…here Is One of the Best Introductions to Figures of Speech for Nigerian Secondary Schools (lagosbooksclub.wordpress.com)
- Moments to Treasure No.138 and a Short History of Mason College,festac (edupedianigeria.wordpress.com)
- Moments to Treasure No.136 and a Short History of Pass Tutorial College,festac (edupedianigeria.wordpress.com)
- Waec/neco Literature in English (2)…appreciation of an Author or His Work- What Do Examiners Want? (lagosbooksclub.wordpress.com)
- Waec/neco Literature in English…literary Terms and Concepts for Appreciation Purposes…how Many on This List Do You Actually Know Like Chimamanda? (lagosbooksclub.wordpress.com)
- Batch 4 of 2500 Post-ume General Paper Questions for Practice or Free Downloading.kindly Share! (lagosbooksclub.wordpress.com)