Academic diary with Dzifa: Vacation Class – Does it in any way benefit the learner?

Academic diary with Dzifa: Vacation Class - Does it in any way benefit the learner?

Smart Look Up

  • School breaks or vacations are meant to relax the brains from academic work
  • However, taking the chance to engage in some other activities outside school work can yield amazing results
  • The right choice of engagement for a learner during this period can be beneficial in unexpected ways

Well, it is that time of the school year again. Most basic schools are going on break if not already on break. Have you taken note of the flood of Vacation Classes banners showing up around town and on social media, advertising for classes or for want of a better expression, ‘Summer School’? What is the school break or vacation meant for? How may it benefit learners, if they have to engage in some form of extra classes during the vacation or enrol in a ‘Summer School’?

“I wish to go to grandma’s place and have some fun with my friends there, I do not want to go for the Vacation Classes.” – Jason, 8 years.

“If I have to go for classes during this vacation, I want to take a course in robotics or animation which I enjoy doing during my leisure. It is fun, and makes me more creative. It also takes my mind away from the usual school work.” –  Papa Asabitwi, 12 years.

“Mummy said this vacation, I will be learning poems and doing arts and crafts at my school and that makes me happy” – Abena, 4 years.

At the end of my little survey, I came to realise that rather than continue to rack their brain on book knowledge, a lot of learners wish to explore and discover more of their hobbies and creativity. And they wish to do this when school is on break – away from the usual classroom work.

Here are some ways in which learners like Jason, Papa Asabitwi and Abena can improve themselves from fun-filled activities during vacation.

Boosts self confidence

Vacation classes that focus on allowing the learner to explore their own space at their pace opens up opportunities for them to believe in their own abilities. Accepting the challenge of exploring other areas of pursuit can open up new avenues that they have never thought of being good at.

Develops language and builds social skills

Interacting with other learners from different schools and background, as well as other trainers, gives them the opportunity to build their social skills.

The welcoming and highly interactive environment typical for a ‘Summer School’ is the perfect setting for making a lot of new friends. Shy learners will have an easier time opening up due to the friendly atmosphere, the shared interests of the participants, the small groups and the acceptance of diversity.

Most programmes of a ‘Summer School’ provide their own set of vocabulary; and in effect, the programme or activity provides language development benefits. A choice in journalism will present its own set of verbal and written language skills. Learners can also benefit from specific terms and develop the vocabulary they need to complete a course in poetry or zoology.

Supports further education

Selecting a course outside of school work can provide the opportunity for a learner to decide what career path to choose. This makes it a lot easier when it comes to the choice of programme to pick whenever the need arises to seek higher education. Developing the interest in a particular area of study will help a learner to easily identify the field of work they wish to tow.

Papa Asabitwi, mentioned earlier, already has developed interest in robotics and animation. Pursuing this during Vacation Classes will not become boring to him, but build and sustain his interest in venturing into that field in the near future after completing his basic school.

Encourages independent learning

During a demanding academic year, learners usually focus on cramming as much information as possible into their brains in order to pass their exams. Facilitators concentrate more on covering the set curriculum for the term, rather than encouraging learners to discover their potentials. A ‘Summer School’ or Vacation Classes that turns away from the traditional classroom work meets these complex needs by placing a heavier emphasis on skills development and stimulating curiosity, creativity and self-reliance.

Upgrade to an impressive CV

As any co-curricular activity, a ‘Summer School’ provides learners with some level of commitment to their own development and willingness to go the extra mile. Making a list the skills gained during ‘Summer School’, and how those skills helped the learner perform better in a variety of settings will add up to their Curriculum Vitae (CV). These advantages will make a positive impression no matter what career path one chooses to follow.

Do you remember?

The creativity and potential skills building based Vacation Classes or ‘Summer Schools’, although giving an entertaining experience, are innovative ways of reinforcing and harnessing a better version of a learner toward a more focused and skilful career path.

It builds a friendly and more relaxed space for both learners and facilitators which increases focus and more functional sessions.

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