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Haunted by the Red Ink

I remember opening my books as a young child, waiting anxiously to see how well I had performed in my classwork or tests. Often the anxiety resulted in 'favorable outcomes' but there were moments that didn't turn out so well- These moments haunted me for a very long time well past those daunting years. Those dreaded moments were developed on seeing 'The Red Ink'. Dreaded and despised by many-a-pupil in my time.

The Red Ink
The red ink signifies teachers' written remarks. Back then, it was an indication that there was something wrong with one's work. If it wasn't a tick in a copy book or written with a blue or black coloured pen on a report card, it often indicated a problem. A problem that was usually written with a RED COLOURED PEN. 
It didn't come as a surprise when I became a teacher many years later, that I disliked using the 'red pen' in grading my students' work. I mostly choose a blue pen or bright and legible coloured pens that were more friendly to the eyes. I soon discovered that it was never really about the colour of the pen, but the remarks that came along with it, which was either discouraging or downright disheartening.

 Rita F. Pierson once graded a student who scored 2 out of 20, with a '+2' and a big smile. "Is this an F?", the student asked. Yes, she replied. "Why did you put a smiley face?", he asks again. "Because you're on the roll, you got 2 right, you didn't miss them all" she replied. She went farther to ask him if he would do better after revision to which he answered a big YES! (Seems strange from a teacher right?)
It isn't out of fact, that the kid  in question had performed way below average, but it was Rita's hope to inspire this child to do better which turned out to be the case and frankly a lot easier.

Teachers’ comments on students’ work should be made to help them understand the strengths and weaknesses of their work, and to make clear how their work has or has not achieved the goals and standards set in the class. It is not to suppress the feelings (or the creative mind) of the student but to serve as a remedial process. A process that should guide students to be interested in finding solutions to mistakes and/or improving on their specific skills. It should even build relationships between the learner and teacher.

Todays teachers should champion the course of guiding the future of the students. Their remarks could either inspire or discourage a learner's spirit. The spirit of inquiry and discovery continues to be the driving force of the world's socio-economic advancements and teachers play a pivotal role in the entire process. 

All Learning is understanding relationships - George Washington Carver

I believe that a good student-teacher relationship has crucial, positive and long-lasting implications for students' academic and social development. Students learn better when they have good relationships with their teachers......teachers they like.

See teachers tips for writing good remarks here.


In Pictures: Global Money Week - Financial Literacy for Children and Youth

The celebration of Global Money Week takes place every year during the second week of March. This initiative is coordinated by the Child and Youth Finance International Secretariat and in conjunction with 'AJAPA WORLD' group in Nigeria.

Here are the line of events marking the celebration.


10th March - 17th
9am - 10am: Press Conference at SIAO
11am - 1pm: Money March from Freedom Park to Marina with public schools

10am – 11am: Visit to Banks
 1pm - 2:30pm: Visit to School

9am -11am: Visit to Supermarket and Panel takes place at Ajapaworld Studio

8am - 9:30am: Visit to School - Corona
12pm - 1:30pm: Visit to School - Edidot 2:30pm - 3:30pm: Visit to School - Dowen College

TBD: Monopoly Tournament at School

2pm- 2:30pm: Radio discussion about children and money

All Day: Pledge Balloons all over Nigeria (Social media campaign)

Rhoda, Akin and Jimi
Akin Braithwaite of Ajapa World
The celebrations of 2014 will take place between 10 March and 17 March 2014. During this week various worldwide activities will be held to engage children, youth and their communities to learn how money works, including saving, creating livelihoods, gaining employment, and becoming an entrepreneur. The week brings the world one step closer to ensuring that every child will have access to financial services, financial awareness through education, a reliable source of income, and the the understanding of the need to save. Aiding the next generation to be confident, responsible and skilled economic citizens. Every year, during the second week of March, young people around the globe talk, play, create, sing, read, discuss and learn about saving, money, changing economic systems and building a strong financial base.


Infographic: Why female education is absolutely necessary!

United Nations Global Monitoring Report

World Women's Day 2014

Yes, it is our day! The world will be celebrating women and girls today. Issues to be discussed will include gender gaps in education and labour. 

Be a part of this day by promoting the discourse.


Celebrate International Women's Day 2014

The International Women's Day 2014 will be celebrated on the 8th of March ( 2 days away). Women and men around the world will be participating in activities that would raise issues in advancement of women and girls courses.

One of the main issues to be raised will be the education of the girl child. At least one in five adolescent girls around the world is denied an education by the daily realities of poverty, conflict and discrimination. Missing out on school can mark the end of a girl having any choice over her own future. 

Please join in this celebration. Support the education of girls in any measure you can. Here are some ideas on what to do. Make it simple.
Discuss with your friends and colleagues on its relevance. Talk about ways you can help. You may organise a bake sale and give proceeds to a girl around your neighbourhood or community in support of their education. Organise group meetings to seek support for consistency and most importantly, keep the message alive by spreading the word.