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Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Primary School Homework - Is There Any Point

You sat your final high school exam and the results are out. This means you have probably gotten over all the worrying and speculating about your exam performance and you have already accepted the scores that you achieved. Receiving your exam results is one thing and what you decide with the results and after the results is quite another.

Most students make the mistake of wasting too much after receiving their results trying to figure out what step to take next. It is okay to take your time to make a decision as per what should come next but you should make sure that you use your time wisely even as you await making the next most crucial decision in your life. There are so many things you can do after the results and below are some of the most constructive and helpful ones you can choose to work with.

Not the grade you wanted? Retake the exam

If you had a target, especially with your grade, the college and course you wish to take up and you failed to achieve, it is advisable that you consider retaking the exam. In many regions retaking exams without necessarily repeating classes is allowed and it can be the option that gives another chance to give your best to reach your objectives. Follow up on relevant exam retaking procedure and go for it once more.

Start all over again

It may not be a preferred option for many students, but it could make a huge difference. If you are driven by what the path you wish your career to take, then it may be a great idea to repeat the final year to improve on your exam performance and reach your goals. It can be humiliating, especially with all your close friends gone, but it gets better with time and you will be enjoying learning in no time at all. In case you decide to take this option, try and find out where you went wrong with your first attempt and making appropriate changes to improve your performance at the second trial.

Get busy

In case you have already found a course you can take up with your scores, but the school does not start immediately, occupy your free time doing something constructive. Some of the things you can choose to engage in include part time jobs that help prepare you for adulthood. You can also volunteer in a cause you are passionate about and get involved in community work and projects. You can also try out travelling if you have the means; student exchange programs can work out great for those who love travelling and exploring new places. Apart from these you can be helpful around your home and take up new hobbies and sports to keep you in the positive lane and avoid negative influences. There are so many things you can do as you wait to start college or join university if your high school results allow. Most of the people aspire to study abroad, but they are not sure about its precise advantages. If you are one among them for whom studying abroad is alluring, but are not aware of the actual benefits associated with it, you need to know these top 5 benefits of overseas education.

Your Language Skills Gets Honed:

This is one of the major benefits of studying abroad. Studying in a foreign country enables you to immerse in a language that is new to you. When you use it on a day-to-day basis, both formally and informally, your language skills get developed automatically.

You Would Learn in a Better Way:

Studying abroad will expose you to a different style of education. In India, education is theory-based and centred around books and notes. Foreign nations focus more on the practical aspect of studies. So, you will experience a better way of learning and would be able to grasp effectively and quickly.

Learn a New Culture:

Most of the students leave their homes for the first time. When they take up a course overseas, they get to know about the new culture, habits and traditions. When they mingle up socially, they learn about a new culture.

Bright Career Aspects:

Apparently, overseas education means bright career opportunities. This is considered to be a major advantage from the employers point of view. Most of the students get immersed in the culture and the language of the host country that they decide to work there and become financially strong.

Personality Development:

Being on your own in a foreign nation improves your personality. When you are independent, you grow confident. Not only this, in your bid to adapt to the new environment, people, language and culture, you become assertive. This in turn develops your over and all personality. You develop new interests and hobbies apart from making lifelong friends.

Those who study in a foreign country exhibit poise and diversity. They are not scared of taking new challenges and are more capable of taking themselves out from difficult situations. With the development of educational acumen, the whole personality develops. Those who are serious about building a bright career, seek admission in an overseas university or college. Owing to the several benefits associated with it, the number of aspirants is rising. There are certain tests that need to be qualified to be eligible. GRE is one of them. There are many institutes that train students for GRE, you need to find the best GRE institute to ensure your admission in a foreign institute. Sitting an exam is one thing and it is quite another to receive results for the same. No matter how prepared and confident most students are when sitting for their exams, there always seem to be some sort of anxiousness and nervousness when it is finally time to receive the exam results. This is especially the case when your exam performance determines whether you go to the next level or not. It is not fun to keep retaking exams and therefore most students hope to pass. The thought of failure seems to freak almost everyone out, but there are a few things that you can do to prepare for the results.

1. Remind yourself that you gave the exam your best. This is one of the easiest ways of keeping calm and maintaining cool when the results are about to be released. You studied hard and prepared for the exams the best way you could so you are bound to get what you really deserve. Go over your preparation period and convince yourself that you are a success no matter what to calm your nerves down.

2. Get your mind off the results. If you are too anxious to do anything else or to think of anything else, you only make it worse when you sit around doing nothing. Why not find an engaging activity to help you keep your mind off the results. You can engage in interesting exercises or take a session at the gym to try create a diversion as you await to receive the results. The less you think about the results the less you will worry yourself over the unknown.

3. Be ready to accept the results. Acceptance is very important and no matter what grades you get, you should be ready to accept them. If your performance is impressive them celebrate how you want and if it is not as satisfying then at least remember that you can always retake or have a remark of the same. There is really no reason to take drastic actions simply because you did not perform as expected, so be ready to accept whatever comes your way.

4. Choose the best channel to get the results. Most schools make it possible for students to find results on their website and some offer codes that can be dialed via mobile phone for the results to be accessed. Such channels are convenient if you want to get your results fast and easy without leaving the comfort of your home, but some prefer the traditional method of going physically to the school to get results. Choose the channel you are most comfortable with so you have the privacy that you may need when opening the results or you may have the company you find appropriate for the same. Some would rather be alone, others with fellow students and teachers, whereas others feel more at ease around family. Nothing, utterly nothing has an exact twin. There are no two things in the universe which are exactly the same (except maybe photons and their cousins; but they're relatively hard to nail down). Nevertheless, now and then you run across word twins like Flotsam and Jetsam. Now and then. Nook and cranny. Spick and span. Vim and vigor. Peanut butter and jelly. Nuts and bolts. Odds and ends. Bells and whistles. Scotch and soda.

You would think from high school biology class that xylem and phloem, i.e., tree guts, are the same thing, but no! (Look it up). How many writers have jammed the phrase "Flotsam and Jetsam " into a clichéd glob? FlotsamandJetsam. FlotsamandJetsam. For pete's sake! The two do not mean the same thing! Picture yourself aboard a sinking ship. Jetsam is stuff you pitch over the side to lighten the ballast to keep yourself afloat longer. Flotsam is what your buddies find washing ashore later. The fact that you can ask important and intelligent questions about the two words proves that there are differences.

Does jetsam become flotsam after an expiration period?

Now, picture a couple persons in a small leaky dingy, bailing like hades with a couple #10 coffee cans. Does bailed water pitched over the side count as jetsam? It certainly couldn't be flotsam.

Was Navy Lieutenant John F. Kennedy considered jetsam when he jumped over the side of rammed and sinking PT-109?

If a bozo second mate snags a floating bottle of ship's medicinal brandy bobbing by as the ship is foundering, empties the contents, belches, then thoughtlessly lobs the bottle back into the sea, does the bottle count as flotsam, or jetsam? What about the bottle's former contents six minutes later after biological processing, especially if the men's room is inaccessible because of being flooded shut? If that second mate can't swim and plummets to the sea bed, is he at any point either jetsam or flotsam? Answer: depends if he fell off the ship in a stupor, or was unceremoniously heaved off by the first mate or captain, either of whom may or may not have also helped themselves to something in the ship's medicine locker. Naturally, every instructor has his/her God-given voice. This voice is what instructors use in conversing with people in their everyday life activities. They are known and identified by such voices. This natural voice must not be confused with speaking with the naturalness which has been endorsed by many public speakers as one of the efficient speaking habits. This naturalness is contrasted with a public speaker being nervous, shaky or straining the voice as a result of shyness or unpreparedness of his/her lesson delivery. Thus, it is essential to be natural in this context as an instructor. However, the natural voice is the tone, manner and voice expression that an instructor uses in his/her everyday conversations. It is usually characterized by low-toned speech, not meant for a large group. Some instructors naturally speak in a relatively fast manner. Others unnecessarily use jargons or mannerisms while speaking. Still, some instructors naturally stammer while speaking. Also, some instructors do not have the ability to persuade a set of individuals to adopt a particular behavioral pattern naturally with their voice. Therefore, an effective instructor must earnestly strive to shift from his/her natural voice to an instructor's voice.

An instructor's voice, unlike the natural voice, helps students to relax and listen to an instructor with pleasure. Students find it difficult listening to an instructor whose natural voice is relatively slow or fast. Students lose the importance and urgency associated with a particular lesson delivery if an instructor speaks with a tortoise voice. Some students tend to converse amongst themselves while a slow-voiced instructor is teaching. Others even end up dosing unintentionally due to the extremely low-paced voice of an instructor. Therefore, naturally slow speaking instructors must uplift their voices. They must learn to speak with warmth, shifting from their natural slowness to speaking in an enthusiastic manner. Such animated delivery gives students prove of the instructor's strong passion for the value of the content being delivered. It propels them to sit up even if they are sleeping literally.

On the other hand, an instructor who is naturally a fast speaker, speaking very fast as if with the speed of eight airplanes must learn to adjust and reduce the speed of the voice. Slang speech which is an aspect of fast speech results in students losing a greater part of the content delivered. Some even would have to engage in the difficult task of asking for a peer briefing of the lecture they were casual attendees! Thus, an instructor's voice is not too slow neither is it spoken too fast. It is gauged in a moderate tone to meet the listening speed of students, exactly how they would want to hear.

Also, the natural voices of some instructors are pregnant with a pool of jargons and mannerisms. This discolors their lesson delivery and lessens its targeted impact of assisting learners in attaining the expected learning outcomes. The minds of most learners thwart to the repetitive mannerisms of the instructor such as 'You know what', 'As I was saying' and many others. An instructor must constantly check his/her mannerism by recording his/her lesson deliveries and playing back to listen to himself/herself. S/he must work hard at varying and adding decorum to his/her speech rather than resorting to the constant jargons or mannerisms. This would make students listen to the instructor with pleasure and not distaste.

Moreover, natural stammers in speaking must train their voices to mitigate the spontaneity of stammering. This all important discipline in the voice would aid in regulating the break in a speech that results in stuttering. An instructor's voice must sustain the attention of students in a positive way. A stuttering instructor must make every effort not to draw undue attention to the disdain in his/her voice. Rather, his/her disciplined voice must direct students' attention to the essence of the content being delivered.

To speak very well with high voice quality and decorum, it is advised that an instructor always trains his/her voice, shifting it from their natural state to an instructor's voice. Instructors must develop proper breath control and this can be carried out through constant breathing in and out exercises. Also, in delivering lessons, instructors must stand erect with their shoulders back, while breathing to fill the lower part of the lungs, and gradually exhaling while speaking. It is equally important to relax tense muscles and mental tension. If instructors adequately prepare for their lessons, as well as cultivate the right disposition about their students, it would very much help them to articulate much better with the appealing 'instructor's voice'.

Instructors must always remember that their voice for instructional delivery counts very much and contributes to the success of teaching and learning. Therefore, natural voices and their negative tendencies must be transformed into an instructor's voice. This would turn students who are sleeping agents to active vigilantes, complainant learners to appreciative learners, and tedium students to excited students! The issue of Primary school homework is one of the most contentious in education. A quick scan of the newspapers and social networking sites reveals an ongoing debate that never seems to reach any kind of resolution, not least because the four parties involved (policy-makers, schools, parents and the children themselves) rarely see eye-to-eye on the matter.

For policy-makers - usually several steps removed from the classroom - homework is often perceived as a panacea for ailing achievement levels. If children can do more outside school to reinforce what they have learnt in the classroom, progress will be faster and standards will rise sooner.

The reality is not so simple. For while some parents positively welcome homework, seeing it as a sign of a school's serious intentions, there are many more who regard it as little more than an unwelcome intrusion into family life, for a variety of reasons.

Some simply harbour a straightforward belief that children work hard enough at school and need time to recharge their batteries in the evenings. Any teacher struggling to motivate a weary class on a Friday afternoon will likely support this view to some extent. Given, too, that more active and creative subjects are increasingly being squeezed out of curriculum time, there is much to be said for the argument that children should be using time outside school to explore other, non-academic or active pursuits. After all, achievement in Maths and English is a relatively slim part of being a healthy, well-rounded individual.

Other parents may see some value in homework in principle but disagree with how it is actually administered. Typical bones of contention are the fact that homework may not be marked or followed up properly in class, that there doesn't appear to be any point to the activities set, or that the tasks are too difficult.

The Issue with Homework

Sometimes these issues arise because policy obliges a teacher to set homework, yet it is then treated as optional by some members of the class. Sometimes, however, a child may appear to have grasped a concept in class but then struggles to approach a reinforcement activity independently outside the classroom. The child may, understandably, be upset and these feelings may be exacerbated if the parent tries to explain but uses a different method from the one the child has been taught, or if the parent helps too much and it becomes more their work rather than the child's. In both cases, the value of the homework task is immediately diminished.

Alternatively, the parent may try to stave off arguments and further frustration simply by informing the child that the homework is too difficult so they don't have to do it. In that scenario, the child is caught between the dominant characters in their two separate worlds, often without the skills to negotiate the situation diplomatically. In such circumstances, parents often voice negative opinions about homework in general, which can't help but foster a negative mindset in the child too. While parents are entitled to be concerned if homework is the frequent cause of arguments or frustration at home - many teachers value such feedback as it is another reference point to help them gauge how well a child's ability to work independently is developing - parents are not necessarily equipped with the pedagogical skills to judge the inherent educational worth of a particular homework task.

Then, of course, there are children and parents who find themselves in complex personal and domestic circumstances where homework simply cannot register as a priority. For some children, it may not be practicable to complete homework over the weekend: that might be precious time they spend with a parent they only see at weekends.

Theory Versus Reality

Teachers and pupils alike are caught between the attractive theory of homework and the somewhat messier reality. Too often a homework task may appear beneficial in theory. Simple reinforcement of a mathematical concept covered extensively in class should, for example, be a worthwhile exercise. However, when you factor in fatigue, the chance that the child has forgotten what precisely they have to do, other calls on the child's time and distractions, and parental input or lack of it, at best you have a pretty blurred picture of how well the children in the class have assimilated that particular concept. In other words, a homework task may be completely valid in theory, but in practice other factors come into play that may detract from the educational value of the task, sometimes to the extent where it is rendered pointless.

When primary-aged children are still developing the ability to work independently and often work in pairs or groups within the classroom, setting homework tasks that almost by definition must be tackled independently seems somewhat out of step. Thus homework soon begins to look like a box-ticking exercise, designed to appease those who want it but with little intrinsic value.

Yet is that true of all tasks teachers expect their students to complete outside the classroom? Learning spellings, multiplication tables and readings are tasks that seem to appeal more readily to parents and can have a direct impact in the classroom, so are perhaps less controversial as homework assignments. Progress is easier to gauge and methods are less open for discussion or confusion, particularly if the school sets its policies and approaches out clearly.

Conclusion

In the case of anything beyond these conventional homework activities, the jury appears to be hung. One of the reasons some parents appreciate homework is that it gives them a snapshot of what goes on in the classroom. They gain an insight into curriculum and the methods used - if only through the distorted lens that is their child's ability to communicate their understanding of what they have been taught. But there are plenty of other, more direct, ways to provide this information for parents, including information evenings, publishing an outline of the curriculum and home-school communication logs. It's not necessary to trap children in the middle. Education is such an important part of building a productive and well functioning society that one can't even imagine a community without proper academic infrastructure. It is crucial for a well functioning society that its young minds are taught and trained in various arts and sciences, literature and way of life. Education lays the foundation on which the future of the nation takes form; it is a true reflection of social, political, and cultural change. No great change can happen if the masses are not learned and aware of the happenings in their country and the world.

Education has been a core behind many great revolutions in the past, women had to fight for their right to get educated and go for higher studies and so did the minority races. In the early periods the format of education was much different, it was limited to basic arithmetic, reading and writing and later other skill based courses were imbibed to enable people to get better jobs. In the past only a privileged few were able to get a chance at good education and literacy rate was quite low. As man evolved his thirst to gain more knowledge grew with him, he went from hunters who lived in cages and relied on carving patterns on cave wall with stones to creating well formed script for communication.

Now days we see almost every kid going to the school and it is required by law to provide every child with at least basic education. Every school follows a similar curriculum that has basic subjects which are essential for everyone to know and understand. We as a society go through all the necessary trouble and pay in order to ensure that the young minds are provided with education. The ability of a child to grow into a competent, self sufficient and self reliant adult depends on the education that is provided to him.

A lot of reformers have played a major part in ensuring that academics become a necessary part of every child's life. The purpose of making educational infrastructure was to provide every young one with moral and intellectual grounding which would shape them into competent adults of a well functioning society. The lessons created at school are drafted in such a way that they are completely at par with the intellect and understanding capacity of that particular age group of students. Over the years the change in mindset led to numerous free public high schools and a well established education system which has become imperative for every individual.


Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9593259
Education is such an important part of building a productive and well functioning society that one can't even imagine a community without proper academic infrastructure. It is crucial for a well functioning society that its young minds are taught and trained in various arts and sciences, literature and way of life. Education lays the foundation on which the future of the nation takes form; it is a true reflection of social, political, and cultural change. No great change can happen if the masses are not learned and aware of the happenings in their country and the world.

Education has been a core behind many great revolutions in the past, women had to fight for their right to get educated and go for higher studies and so did the minority races. In the early periods the format of education was much different, it was limited to basic arithmetic, reading and writing and later other skill based courses were imbibed to enable people to get better jobs. In the past only a privileged few were able to get a chance at good education and literacy rate was quite low. As man evolved his thirst to gain more knowledge grew with him, he went from hunters who lived in cages and relied on carving patterns on cave wall with stones to creating well formed script for communication.

Now days we see almost every kid going to the school and it is required by law to provide every child with at least basic education. Every school follows a similar curriculum that has basic subjects which are essential for everyone to know and understand. We as a society go through all the necessary trouble and pay in order to ensure that the young minds are provided with education. The ability of a child to grow into a competent, self sufficient and self reliant adult depends on the education that is provided to him.

A lot of reformers have played a major part in ensuring that academics become a necessary part of every child's life. The purpose of making educational infrastructure was to provide every young one with moral and intellectual grounding which would shape them into competent adults of a well functioning society. The lessons created at school are drafted in such a way that they are completely at par with the intellect and understanding capacity of that particular age group of students. Over the years the change in mindset led to numerous free public high schools and a well established education system which has become imperative for every individual.
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How to pass examination regularly

SMO clinical research is dedicated to offering the best standards in the industry. It is a detailed process that isolates the variables that will be applied and monitored for the duration of the trial. Being in complete control of the parameters is very important. Otherwise, the entire process can be compromised and the results won't be credible.

Developing the Study

Narrowing down the information to verify for a given hypothesis is a big part of the SMO clinical research development for the study. They have to isolate the factors they wish to test. It isn't realistic to expect too much to be evaluated with any given study at once. This is because that can result in too many variables being possible for the outcomes.

By narrowing it down, it can be said with certainty this particular outcome was the result of this particular medication or other product that was involved in the clinical trial. This is why there is always the control group and the placebo group. Comparing the data from each of the groups allows the conclusions to be verified.

Selecting Candidates

It is important to offer the clinical trial to the right profile for candidates. They may a specific gender, age group, ethnicity, have a certain medical ailment, or other requirements. Part of SMO clinical research is to create that profile for the study. While there will be common threads among those individuals, there will also be enough differences.

It doesn't make sense for all of them to have the same identifying markers as that is going to narrow down the results and sway them in a particular way. Showing the diversity among the subjects is an important part of proving the data and results collected during the study.

Size of the Study

Determining the size of the study also has to be explored. It all depends on the specifics for the testing and the funding for it. Small study groups are just as important as larger ones. Sometimes, SMO clinical research will start out with a small group. If the results are favorable for what they are trying to achieve, they may then expand and do another trial with a larger sample group.

If the results aren't favorable, the decision may be made to adjust some of the variables and then to compile a new test group. This can help to achieve the desired results that were lacking with the first study group. There can be quite a bit of trial and error with this type of research.

Duration of the Study

Information has to be used to determine SMO clinical research timeframes too. Some of the studies can be completed in a window of several weeks. Others though want to find out the long-term effects of a product. This may result in follow ups with the candidates at regular intervals for additional testing and other procedures.

This can help with determining of the long-term effects of a given product being tested can be harmful to the individuals. When that is the case, it has to be disclosed that there could be such a problem even if the product does initially offer a solution. Patients have to be well informed of such risks.

Unbiased

With SMO clinical research, the results aren't going to be biased in any way. They are going to be a true reflection of the outcome. It is important to find a provider of such services with a very good record. It can be time consuming and expensive to proceed with a clinical trial. You don't want to take the risk that anything is going to result in the outcome not being true.

We are dedicated to clinical research efforts to help offer information for pharmaceutical companies. Our goal is to make sure patients can have access to medications to help them live the best quality of life possible. We strive to use cutting edge procedures and techniques to deliver unbiased information with both Phase 2 and Phase 3 clinical trials. Please learn more about our procedures at http://www.fomatmedical.com. Our date is carefully compiled, offering credible information that can be used for a wide range of decisions both in the USA and several other countries. We continue to be a leader in this industry due to our dedication and integrity. Technological progress has rendered conventional books less popular as more people embrace the convenience that come with the developments. With the help of an e-reader device, you can read all the books you can handle without having issues with your sight, especially because e-ink does not glow and you can also set contrast to comfortable levels. There is even more convenient because you can carry as many books with you as you want on the devices something that would prove cumbersome with paper bound books.

Free books can be found online so you get to enjoy your read without really spending much on the books that you prefer. But to have an even more enjoyable time with the free books, you need to be cautious with the book downloads so you end up with genuine deals that match your reading preferences every way possible.

Tip 1 - Select reputable and reliable sites to download your eBooks from. There are so many sites out there offering free books, but only the best will contain all relevant books for your reading preferences. A good site should not solely deal with one genre, but should at least offer you variety so you have the freedom to choose the books that you can download and read for free instead of being limited to options just because you are getting the books free. A good site should also offer books that are written by professionals and recognized authors for that matter. It would be even more convenient to choose a site that sends you updates once new books have been uploaded on the site. Find out what you can enjoy from the site before subscribing so you get better value.

Tip 2 - Choose the download format carefully. Free books downloads can be in RTF, TXT, EPUB, PDF and MOBI formats. PDF book format is probably the best that you can settle for. It is a format that contains texts complete with drawings, formulas and any other graphical information the book may have. Most books actually look very appealing in PDF format and even the tables are clearly displayed to give you the most pleasant time reading your selected books. You will find the format especially impressive with books that touch on fitness and health and come with lots of graphics to take the message home. There are very good sites that offer free eBooks in PDF formats only.

Tip 3 - Go through any book review before downloading. It is one of the best ways of understanding what the book is all about and deciding whether it is something you would enjoy reading. Reviews can be from readers who have already read through the books or you can also rely on book previews that give you a summary of what is behind the story. The books may be free, but that does not mean that you should be stuck with a boring book simply because it is free. Find a little about it before going ahead with the download.
Writing part of the PTE Academic tests the ability of a candidate to produce written English in an academic environment. It requires you to do two tasks. One is summarising written text and the other one is writing an essay. Total time allotted for this part depends on the combination of tasks given. Each summarising written task is to be completed within 10 minutes and 20 minutes are given for writing an essay. A candidate is required to attempt both tasks in standard academic English using correct grammar and spelling. One spelling convention should be used consistently throughout.

Summarising written text: In this task type a candidate is supposed to write the summary of the given text in just one sentence. The content of the text will be about academic subjects. You may not be familiar with the topics presented but all information you need to complete the task is contained in the passage. The text length would be up to 300 words and you have to give the response within 10 minutes.

Read the question carefully and follow the instructions given. Analyse the question and jot down key points mentioned in the whole text on the erasable note board booklet provided. You can use these points as guide to prepare your summary. Remember you have to write only one sentence between 5-75 words only. One sentence means the sentence should start with a capital letter and end with a full stop. In between you can use different punctuations like commas, hyphens, semi-colons etc. to mention important points. There will be a word count box under the text and also the timer indicating remaining time for this task, so you can have a glance at these while writing and adjust accordingly. Make sure you have at least 1-2 minutes to check for any grammatical errors or spelling errors.

Your response for this task will be judged on how well the key points are presented and on the content, form, grammar and vocabulary used. Your summary should not misinterpret the topic or purpose of the passage. Using the correct sentence structure including main clause and subordinate clause and focussing on the usage of appropriate vocabulary and effective use of synonyms are quite essential to fetch good score.

Read the passage carefully identifying the writer's purpose, style, tone or attitude to comprehend explicit, implicit, concrete and abstract information. While writing keep the track of time and synthesise the information communicating main points using correct grammar and spelling. Do not use background knowledge of your own ideas. Check the length, grammar, punctuation, spelling before clicking "Next" button and make corrections where necessary.

Write essay:

The next task in writing part of the PTE Academic test is write an essay. It is a long-answer writing item type which tests a candidate's ability to write persuasive or argumentative essay on a given topic. You are expected to have an average typing speed as you need to type your responses on the computer screen in the box given. Understanding the prompt is quite essential to give a suitable response with adequate evidence to support your opinion.

A prompt will be displayed on the screen with instructions. You'll have 20 minutes to finish the task. The word limit for this task type is 200-300 words which can be monitored in the "total word count" box. You must be able to address the topic, develop ideas based on the prompt using imagination and relevant examples to state your point of view. This task is scored based on several factors like the content, development, structure, coherence, form, language, grammar, vocabulary and spelling. Coherence is nothing but linking ideas together with the main theme. Ideas should be interrelated. Using cohesive words, conditional statements, idioms and collocations also make the essay impressive and interactive. An essay should always be generalised, that is to say no personalised essay. Whatever you mention should be on a general level with appropriate examples, if asked.

Candidates' key skills tested in this task type are writing for a purpose, supporting an opinion with details, examples or explanations, organising sentences and paragraphs in a logical way, developing complex ideas using words and phrases appropriate to the context, using correct grammar and spelling. For this you need to understand what exactly the requirements of the essay are. You may be asked either to agree/disagree, argue for or against an opinion, describe situation, answer a question, discuss advantages/disadvantages etc.

Before starting to write it is advisable for a candidate to plan the content of your essay by noting any helpful ideas, phrases or words on the erasable note board booklet provided. Organise your ideas into groups, sequence them using cohesive words and check the plan against the essay prompt. Keep track of the time and leave 2-3 minutes in the end for revising and proofreading. This plan can be referred to write the essay within the stipulated time.

Check whether the content is relevant to the topic given, whether the ideas presented are clearly conveying the message, whether the format of the essay is correct with an introduction, a body of 2 paragraphs and a conclusion. Focus on the language and vocabulary you are using to present your ideas. Try using appropriate words, synonyms, prepositions, articles, collocations, idioms, conditionals as per the context to make your essay impressive. Check for the grammar, spelling and punctuation errors, if any.

Extensive practice in writing essays daily on various topics before the test day will prove to be advantageous for a candidate to score better. With practice you'll be able generate quite a lot ideas and framing proper sentences will come naturally. You'll have whole bank of words, synonyms to choose appropriate vocabulary from, assisting you in presentation of varied thoughts on the given topic. Practice with patience, positivity and persistence in order to achieve your target score. Good luck!
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Promoting Literacy in School in some countries can help

Stories are as old as language, as old as the earliest societies. A few of the earliest stories even survive: those told in pictorial form on walls of cave in Lascaux, in France or in the Mpongweni Mountains in Lesotho. And others have come down to us in the world's myths and folklore to which we now have access on the printed age. Storytelling is older than printing, older than writing, and the first stories to be set down on paper, papyrus or parchment were not the work of those authors but records of the oral traditions of past centuries. In Sierra Leone as it is in most African countries storytelling is an integral part of the country's life although oral traditions have very largely yielded to the written word.

We learn as we live while we are children, young people and adults. Learning is not confined to the classroom alone: it can take place anywhere. Moral values and social norms, beliefs and codes have to be transmitted from generation to the next, whether modified or not. Informal learning settings are relevant and might be dominant even today when more formalized and specific institutions have partly taken over.

While Sierra Leoneans guard themselves against their past both educationists and librarians see a lot in storytelling that could be used as foundation to orient and develop the young in the school system. There are many indications that an immense richness of traditional pedagogy in respect to the principles, contents, methods and institutional arrangements existed and still exist in Sierra Leone. Story tellers, their stories and songs, proverbs and riddles are still important assets and subjects for indigenous learning and education. Oral traditions do not only pass the mores and standards of a society. They set out to explain the world and behaviour of the people in it. Oral traditions offer accounts of how the world began and these creation myths are part also of the Holy Books of all the world's long-established religions such as Christianity and Islam. Also explained in allegorical terms is all human behaviour in which good does not always triumph over evil.

Stories which do not depend on literature in turn do not depend on literacy. They can reach all of the community and their interactive quality is itself power, for it facilitates the functions of stories in social instruction, what Leeson (1985) called "passing on the country's shared wisdom and values to the next generation." Sadly there is a missing link in Sierra Leone as school going children are well acquainted with the stories of Great Britain, the United States of America, Canada and Italy to cite a few examples but know very little about their traditional stories.

STORYTELLING IN SIERRA LEONE

Sierra Leone comprises sixteen (16) ethnic groups. The largest of these is the Mende found in the Southern and Eastern Provinces. Next to them in number is the Temne in the North. The third largest group is the Limba, also in the Northern Province, followed by the Kono in the Eastern Province. There's also the Koranko in the North as well as the Yalunka, Loko, Soso, Madingo and Fula. On the coast, North and South are the Bullom and Sherbro followed by the much smaller groups of Krim, Vai and Gola, with the Kissi further inland in the Eastern Province. The Western Area, including Freetown, is more mixed in population, but is basically the home of the Creole group. In all these ethnic groups storytelling is common as part of their culture.

Ogutu and Roscoe (1974) had this to say about storytelling in Africa: "The continent has its own fiction traditions; it has the tradition of storytelling, narrated orally... the medium through which Africa down the centuries has bared its soul, taught its people and entertained itself" (pp. 43-44).

Traditional stories in Sierra Leone are perceived as embodiment of the beliefs, customs, rituals and structures of society that need to be maintained. Stories operate within society to insure conformity to the accepted cultural norms of continuity from generation to generation through their role in education and the extent to which they mirror culture. Most traditional storytellers claim to derive their art through dreams, spirits, and apprenticeship to professional storytellers; others claim to acquire the art directly from God while some say they paid to acquire it. Storytellers possess the following features:

• Fluency in the local language and mastery of a wide range of vocabulary for all levels of audiences;
• Creativity and ability to establish rapport with their audiences;
• Knowledge of their audiences and their needs;
• Familiarity with and ability to refer to their culture and environment to enliven their stories and make them appeal to their audience;
• Good memory of accurate retention and narration of a large corpus of material; and
• Candour.

The contents of traditional stories can be grouped into:

• Myths-stories tinted with religion, superstition and traditional beliefs especially about the origins of mankind and phenomena;
• Legends-stories about historical events and memorable people such as war heroes, outstanding medicine men and migration;
• Fiction-imaginary tales categorized into allegory, fables, fantasy and parables.

These can be further classified by social function or institution namely:

• Political stories-stories about leadership and the relationship between leaders and their subjects;
• Tribe stories-these reveal the structures, families and communities i.e. marriage and genealogies;
• Religion and deities-stories about creation and phenomena such as death and rain;
• Moral virtues-stories intended to deride such vices as pride, greed, thievery, murder, dishonesty, foolishness and lack of insight;
• Economics-stories that deal with work, borrowing and lending, industriousness and laziness.

Characters in typical traditional Sierra Leonean stories range from people to animals, stones, trees, plants, deities, spirits and birds. These characters are symbolic: Bra rabbit- trickery; tortoise-wisdom; elephant-nobility; vulture-patience; lion-bravery and strength; sparrow, parrot and crow-intelligence; dove-good fortune; spider-cunning. Stories are told purely for evening entertainments. Sometimes storytelling sessions could be any time of the day with audiences in private verandahs, 'court barries' or other public places. However, the traditional setting where twenty to forty people sit together around a kerosene lamp or fire at night after a day's work is done and food has been cooked and eaten. Storytellers are also invited to cultural social functions such as weddings, burials, secret society celebrations and crowning ceremonies. Tobacco is often provided for without smoking storytelling ideas will not flow.

Stories go together with songs; a song starts off a story; an important line in a story makes up a new story; a proverb ends a story; a song in the middle of a story is used to wake up listeners or to prepare for the coming climax. Very often songs do invite participation, and listeners become active supporters of a chorus, clapping their hands, reaching to lies and jokes of the story teller, who in turn answers the comments often with another story. Songs are backed by the beating of traditional musical instruments like 'kaylain', 'sira' 'seigureh' and 'sangba' (local drum) to add rhythm. Story telling audience is usually active. It catalyses the narratives by spontaneous exclamations, questions to the narrator, echoing of the narrator's voice, and joining in the singing of choruses. For all these to take place discipline is maintained. The audience is made to laugh and exclaim but without jeopardizing the continuation of the narration.

SOCIAL FUNCTIONS OF TRADITIONAL STORIES

Foremost is socialization. The telling and listening of stories is a social activity that brings people together to share in artistic and creative affair. The occasion is meant to entertain so that people could forget the drudgery of daily life. People are transplanted to a world of make-belief. As the narration goes through the nuances of recreating the fictional world the audience is carried along like passengers on a flight. The enjoyment derived is facilitated by the social organization of the audience. The atmosphere is generally informal with no coercion or harassment; everyone is on equal footing regardless of gender and age.

Participants have a chance to narrate and listen. The situation underscores the value of social cooperation. The discipline inherent in the narration is inevitably transformed to spheres of life. Participants learn to respect others, appreciate personal differences in abilities and temperament and be able to relate in a common activity.

Mental stimulation is derived from storytelling. Stories are told and received through the ear. The demand they place on the narrator is to remember the story and tell it for a possible retelling in future. This is good training for the memory. One has to be attentive to get the essentials of a story and assimilate it into repertoire. Thus the mind must be very active to accommodate the new knowledge or varieties of what is already known. As well as training of memory the narratives sharpen critical appreciation. One has to inquest the message of the narrative and evaluates the events related.

Stories are not just told for their own sake but have important pieces of social instruction to impart. The allegories of events and characters reflect on human life and are a source of learning. In the characters of stories the audience will see laziness, sages, cowards, agitators and the arrogant to cite but a few examples. Stories give hints as to how to react to them. The narratives give guidelines on what is cherishable. In other words they seek to change life.

Stories are cultural records. The culture of a people is the totality of their ways of life which include religion, beliefs, customs, practices, music, literature, attitudes, and philosophy. By being didactic stories present to people the philosophical essence of the society. The contents of oral traditions epitomize the foundations of that group. The tales of religion, creation and supernatural give the religious foundations of that group. Biographies and historical tales present the mundane landmarks in what is the society today. Through the traditional heroes, people appreciate what the society admires.

INCLUSION OF TRADITIONAL STORIES IN THE SCHOOL CURRICULUM

Stories are rich in tradition and a valuable heritage which are the country's source of oral literature. Storytelling is like history: it reveals the past, educates the present and throws lights on the future. Stories touch the soul of society and jolt them into an awareness of their condition. In Sierra Leone however these treasures of oral tradition are in danger of being disdained, forgotten and buried. By promoting the collection and publication of these oral sources of information school librarians will not only contribute to a worthwhile revival of interest in a hitherto neglected field but will ensure that posterity will derive maximum benefits from such an endeavour.

Sierra Leone is, in political parlance, a relatively new state following a decade-long civil war (1991-2001). Recording stories and including these in the school curriculum could find solutions to the country's problems of non-integration. Just as the country's National Dance Troupe over the years evolved into a family national ensemble so will recording traditional stories present a less heterogeneous origin and assume a truly national and homogenous character.

Traditional stories teach moral lessons common to all the ethnic groups in Sierra Leone. Sir Winston Wilson once observed that the further back we look into the past, the more into the future we can see. Recording traditional stories could help Sierra Leoneans to look back to their past with a view to seeing into their future. Besides, schools alongside public libraries are the most popular places to tell stories to children. The type of audience determines the kind of story to be told. For instance children from ages three to five enjoy stories about animals and about children themselves. While school-age children go in for long stories. Junior High School pupils like myths and epics. They are fascinated by heroes and enjoy adventure and romance.

The right to read one's own world is an essential part of the right to learn. Stories and songs are the media through which Sierra Leoneans have been to pass to their children the traditions, customs, culture and oral history of their society. Indigenous literature however is necessary to prevent the literate person from becoming alienated from his own culture and tradition. It strengthens the appreciation of one's own cultural values and cultural identity in a rapidly changing environment. In Sierra Leone where for a long time education has been based on books that relate to other cultures this is very important. Like everywhere else in the world the awareness of people's cultural heritage is also a prerequisite for the continuity, cohesion and progress of their society. Over and above all the rich oral traditions of Sierra Leoneans with their different languages can easily get lost with the propagation of modern means of communication, if not preserved.

ROLE OF LIBRARIES

Libraries are the gatekeepers to the world of information and knowledge. Kinnell (1992) opined that Good libraries empower. Using their resources can unfetter our imagination, disclose hitherto unrealized worlds; promote knowledge; induce pleasure; make us laugh; insights; challenge our misconceptions; assuage fears; prick our conscience; influence our sensibilities; and provide professional refreshment. "What we learn from good books and other resources become part of us"(p.5).

Libraries are the neutral grounds on which the individual child may grow through independent and unhindered discovery. They are places to learn and practice information skills. Libraries provide sources of information for young people, enabling them to discover and use the power of access that information skills can bring in the society of today and that of tomorrow. Amonoo and Azubuike (2003) opined that libraries are catalysts for human progress as they aid the development and transmission of knowledge and culture, and foster civic awareness in support of democracy. Libraries preserve and promote cultural heritage and diversity, and foster mutual understanding and respect for cultures and peoples. For Johnson (2013) "good school and college libraries can enhance the educational experience, encourage reading and fostering the critical thinking that students will require to survive and prosper in an increasingly complex society"(p.295).

An advantage that libraries enjoy is that they are centrally placed within communities. As such they are well placed to fulfill a role as cultural centers. They are natural places for the promotion of literature including poetry, drama, prose and storytelling. They also offer venue for visual arts and music. In addition they are cultural centers in the true sense of the word, highlighting local culture and able to highlight the culture of children representing the various groups within the community.

Le Roux (2005) averred that the school library is nothing less than the conscience of the curriculum. Schools libraries provide relevant and up-to-date materials and services for teaching staff and pupils to support the curriculum. Implicitly the collection so developed should be one that reflects not only the known needs of users but also anticipated needs of prospective teachers and pupils. By presenting their users with a representative collection of children's literature libraries could stimulate teachers and pupils alike to develop imaginative use of storytelling materials that could be passed on to pupils in subsequent years.

Provision and promotion of services presupposes a knowledge and understanding of the world within which children live on a global, national and basis. Children can derive from libraries enjoyment of story experience, of language, and of associated art. The resources of the library may foster knowledge of a wider world and an understanding of other people with regard to behavior, culture, or situations (Johnson,2013). Children can gain self-knowledge through relating to situations, events and characters. Libraries can provide for children's information needs. Good services may help to engender confidence in the acquisition of vocabulary, speech and language. Libraries provide opportunities for shared experience between adults and children. Central to the philosophy of library provision for young people is to support formal and informal education.

School libraries are communication centers. They constitute an ideal means of disseminating / knowledge. Their purpose is to facilitate access to the clientele they serve to the tools of knowledge to assist their cultural and professional development (Wehmeyer, 2005). Ultimately this function is associated with the intellectual development of pupils and their attitudes towards situations of all kinds, moral, intellectual, social, practical and recreational.

ESSENTIAL TASKS FOR LIBRARIANS

Traditional stories are aspects of peoples' indigenous knowledge systems and considering their social functions in society there is every need for these to be preserved. The fact in the main is that much of the art of storytelling is owned by adults most of whom are growing old and dying. And in Africa for instance when an old person dies it is believed that a library is burnt. This is where school librarians should come in to play a crucial role. Traditional storytelling is an inexplicable phenomenon of Sierra Leonean life and is indispensable for future development. Already steps have been undertaken by some organizations like Partners in Adult Education (PEA), the Department of History and African Studies and the Division of Extra-Mural Studies (DEMS) at Fourah Bay College to record some traditional stories, songs, proverbs and riddles for future use. School librarians should be part of these efforts by recording traditional stories using conventional information and communication technologies such as telecommunications (mobile phones), computers, microfiche, and audiovisual technologies( e.g. cassette recorders, slides, video tapes, tape recorders and CD-ROMs) to record, repackage and disseminate stories for their intended audiences. Given the importance of web technology in information gathering and dissemination librarians can also record stories in web OPACs so that teachers, pupils, and researchers can read different stories as well as biographies of renowned story tellers in the country (Kochtanek and Mathews, 2002).

Further school librarians should be transcribing and publishing stories into booklets and anthologies for use in schools. Such efforts will contribute to the modest stock of written materials in the country available for schools, youths and even adults. Translating traditional stories into several languages will contribute to intercultural understanding in the country. Through these efforts the country's cultures would become the content of learning and even the form by taking it from its roots.

As traditional stories and songs are living in certain contexts rudiments of these could be presented in pictures: village life, arts and crafts, landscapes, peoples and travel routes. Central in all these efforts will be pictures of story tellers and their audiences, dancers and artists. The visual impressions created by photos will further strengthen children's understanding and interest in school. Story telling sessions should not only be filmed / videoed but librarians should compile biographies of storytellers for use in schools. Such strides will enrich children's knowledge of the various ethnic groups in the country and could go a long way in reducing illiteracy.

In school librarians should advocate for increased slots for storytelling on the time table. They should also lobby for the introduction of traditional storytelling up to Junior Secondary School level as aspects of Literature. Children should be brought to the library for special storytelling sessions so that they could not forget their culture. Parents and Storytellers should be invited to narrate stories in school for the benefit of children. Such efforts need collaboration with subject teachers who better understand the needs of pupils and the curriculum. School librarians should also maintain links with public libraries and nearby schools in their areas. Children should be taken on visit to public libraries within their localities where storytelling sessions could be held. In all these moves school librarians should possess extensive knowledge of storytelling appropriate for the varied needs and levels of pupils in their respective schools. Links should also be made with tertiary institutions and organizations engaged in adult literacy which are already involved in traditional storytelling activities as part of their curricula. Lecturers and animators could be invited to school to talk to children about the importance of traditional storytelling and even tell stories for the benefit of pupils and teachers. There are community radios stations all over the country and schools can buy air time to hold discussions on storytelling. If possible storytellers should be invited to such talks to be either interviewed or tell stories. In fact the national broadcaster, the Sierra Leone Broadcasting Cooperation (SLBC) could play a leading role in this direction by creating at least a slot in its weekly programs for storytelling.

The school librarians, to be effective, need to be able to "sell" the art of storytelling in the same way other competitors for children "sell" their wares. They should organize Book Weeks with storytelling sessions included in the activities to be carried out in such Weeks. During such sessions storytellers and parent could be invited to tell stories to children. Teachers, parents and older pupils should be encouraged to write and read stories to the younger ones. They should also show video clips or slides/musical versions of renowned traditional stories.
A well used school library promotes learning, raises achievement and enhances pupils' personal and social development. It is an asset to the school, both in terms of physical resources and the wider resources throughout the school it will harness for the benefit of its users (The Library Association (1998). Invariably, traditional stories have passed from the ancient to present day generations by word of mouth. They have survived the test of time because of the universality of their messages across time and boundaries. Thus Sierra Leoneans still find traditional stories relevant and adoptable to their experiences today. As time passes on traditional stories still have to be passed down to their descendants. Noticeably this should not be solely through the oral word. Literacy and other aspects of modern life come in to aid the preservation and further transmission of traditional stories. And this is where school librarians should come in. Through compilation of anthologies, recording stories into audio tapes, CD ROMs, and cinema films and creation of networks to cite but a few examples, school librarians will be able to create a more permanent record of this valuable asset for future use. The heart of information literacy is contained within definitions used to describe it. Traditionally librarians have given 'library induction' or 'library skills training' in a limited role. Library users need to know where the catalogue is, what the services are, and most importantly where the enquiry desk is. This is not to reduce the value of traditional library induction, but libraries and information are also changing. The provision of information through a library in a traditional form has gone through radical alterations. Already in most library and information organisations staffs are adjusting their services with the provision of new media and access to information provision within these organisations. Thus librarians are talking about social inclusion, opportunity, life-long learning, information society and self development.

A plethora of definitions for information literacy abound in books, journal papers and the web. Some of these definitions centre on the activities of information literacy i.e. identifying the skills needed for successful literate functioning. Other definitions are based on the perspective of an information literate person i.e. trying to outline the concept of information literacy. Deriving therefore a single definition is a complex process of collecting together a set of ideas as to what might be, should be, or may be considered a part of information literacy. For example Weber and Johnson (2002) defined information literacy as the adoption of appropriate information behaviour to obtain, through whatever channel or medium, information well fitted to information needs, together with critical awareness of the importance of wise and ethical use of information in society. The American Library Association (2003) defined information literacy as a set of skills needed to find, retrieve, analyze, and use information. While CLIP (2004) defined information literacy as knowing when and why one needs information, where to find it, and how to evaluate, use and communicate it in an ethical manner. Succinctly these definitions imply that information literacy requires not only knowledge but also skills in:

• recognising when information is needed;
• resources available
• locating information;
• evaluating information;
• using information;
• ethics and responsibility of use of information;
• how to communicate or share information;
• how to manage information

Given therefore the variety of definitions and implied explanation information literacy is a cluster of abilities that an individual can employ to cope with, and to take advantage of the unprecedented amount of information which surrounds us in our daily life and work.

STRUCTURE OF THE EDUCATION SYSTEM

Sierra Leone's current educational system is composed of six years of formal primary education, three years of Junior Secondary School (JSS), three years Senior Secondary School (SSS) and four years of tertiary education-6-3-3-4. (The Professor Gbamanja Commission's Report of 2010 recommended an additional year for SSS to become 6-3-4-4). The official age for primary school pupils is between six and eleven years. All pupils at the end of class six are required to take and pass the National Primary School Examinations designed by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) to enable them proceed to the secondary school divided into Junior Secondary School(JSS) and Senior Secondary School (SSS). Each part has a final examination: the Basic Education Certificate Examinations (BECE) for the JSS, and the West African Senior Secondary School Certificate Examinations (WASSCE) for SSS, both conducted by WAEC. Successful candidates of WASSCE are admitted to tertiary institutions based on a number of subjects passed (GoSL,1995)

The curriculum of primary schools emphasizes communication competence and the ability to understand and manipulate numbers. At the JSS level, the curriculum is general and comprehensive, encompassing the whole range of knowledge, attitudes and skills in cognitive, affective, and psychomotor domains. The core subjects of English, Mathematics, Science and Social studies are compulsory for all pupils. At the SSS level, the curriculum is determined by its nature (general or specialist), or its particular objectives. Pupils are offered a set of core (compulsory) subjects with optional subjects based on their specialization. Teaching is guided by the teaching syllabuses and influenced by the external examinations that pupils are required to take at the 3/ 4-year course. English is the language of instruction (GoSL,1995).

The countries two universities, three polytechnics, and two teacher training colleges are responsible for the training of teachers in Sierra Leone. The Universities Act of 2004 provides for private universities so that these institutions too could help in the training of teachers. Programs range from the Teacher Certificate offered by the teacher training colleges to the Masters in Education offered by universities. Pre-service certification of teachers is the responsibility of the National Council for Technical, Vocational and Other Academic Awards (NCTVA). There is also an In-service Teacher Training program (Distance Education Program) conducted for teachers in part to reduce the number of untrained and unqualified teachers especially in the rural areas.

LITERACY IN SIERRA LEONE

In Sierra Leone as it is in most parts of the developing world literacy involves one's ability to read, write and numeracy. It is the ability to function effectively in life contexts. A literate person is associated with the possession of skills and knowledge and how these could be applied within his local environment. For instance a literate person is believed to be able to apply chemical fertilizer to his crops, fill in a loans form, determine proper dosage of medicine, calculate cash cropping cost and profits, glean information from a newspaper, make out a bank deposit slip and understanding instructions and basic human rights.

Literacy is at the heart of the country's development goals and human rights (World Bank, 2007). Wherever practised literacy activities are part of national and international strategies for improved education, human development and well-being. According to the 2013 United Nations Human Development Index Sierra Leone has a literacy rate of 34 %.Implicitly Sierra Leone is an oral society. And oral societies rely heavily on memory to transmit their values, laws, history, music, and culture whereas the written word allows infinite possibilities for transmission and therefore of active participation in communication. These possibilities are what make the goal of literacy crucial in society.

In academic parlance literacy hinges on the printed word. Most pupils are formally introduced to print when they encounter schoolbook. School teachers in Sierra Leone continue to use textbooks in their teaching activities to convey content area information to pupils. It is no gainsaying that pupils neither maximise their learning potential nor read at levels necessary for understanding the type of materials teachers would like them to use. Thus the performance of pupils at internal and public examinations is disappointing. Further pupils' continued queries in the library demonstrate that they do not only lack basic awareness of resources available in their different school libraries but also do not understand basic rudiments of how to source information and materials from these institutions. What is more worrisome is that pupils do not use appropriate reading skills and study strategies in learning. There is a dearth of reading culture in schools and this situation cuts across the fabric of society. In view of the current support the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MEST) to establish literacy standards in school this situation has proved frustrating as teachers do not know how to better help pupils to achieve this goal. Thus they look up to the school librarians to play a more proactive role.

LITERACY DEMANDS ON SECONDARY SCHOOL PUPILS

In everyday situations school pupils are expected to be able to identify and seek information they need. Providing a variety of reading and writing experiences using varied materials in the school library can help develop pupils' literacy ability (Roe, Stoodt-Hill and Burns, 2004). The mode of assessment in schools in Sierra Leone includes class exercises, tests, written and practical assignments, as well as written examinations to see pupils through to their next levels. These pupils, for example, need to read content books and supplementary materials in school for homework. Pupils have even more literacy needs in their activities outside school. They need to read signs found in their communities, job applications, road maps and signs, labels on food and medicine, newspapers, public notices, bank statements, bills and many other functional materials. Failure to read and understand these materials can result in their committing traffic violations, having unpleasant reactions to food or medicine, becoming lost, losing employment opportunities and missing desirable programs. Equally so pupils need to write to their relatives and loved ones, instructions to people who are doing things for them, notes to themselves about tasks to be completed, phone messages for colleagues and many other items. Mistakes in these activities can have negative effects on them. Good literacy skills are especially important to pupils who plan to pursue higher education studies. The job market in the country calls for pupils to be literate. For instance most jobs advertised these days require people who have completed their JSS. The fact is that workers need to be able to understand graphic aids, categorized information and skim and scan to locate information. Also the nature of reading in the workplace generally involves locating information for immediate use and inferring information for problem solving. The reading and writing of a variety of documents like memos, manuals, letters, reports and instructions are necessary literacy skills in the workplace.

SCHOOL LIBRARIES IN SIERRA LEONE

School libraries in Sierra Leone are perceived as integral aspect of the county's educational system. These institutions bring together four major components of the school community: the materials, pupils, teacher and library staff. The main purpose for the establishment of these institutions in schools is to complement the teaching/learning process, if not to support the curriculum. This purpose is achieved in two ways: by providing pupils with the means of finding whatever information they need; and by developing in pupils the habit of using books both for information and for pleasure. Pupils need information to help them with the subjects they learn in school. The textbooks they use and the notes they take in class can be an excellent foundation. They may also be sufficient for revision purposes. But these could not be enough to enable pupils to write good essays of their own or to carry out group projects. School libraries then are expected to complement this effort and therefore are perceived as learning centres.

Pupils need information on subjects not taught in school. School libraries are looked upon as places pupils find information to help them in their school studies and personal development. Through these institutions pupils' habit of using libraries for life-long education is not only developed but also school libraries could be used to improve pupils' reading skills. In the school community both pupils and teachers use school libraries for leisure and recreational purpose and for career advancement. The culture of society is also transmitted through use of school libraries. Because of the important role school libraries play in the country's educational system they are organised in such way that pupils as well as teachers can rely upon them for support in the teaching/learning process. Most of these institutions are managed by either a full-time staff often supervised by a senior teacher. Staffs use varied methods to promote their use including user education.

JUSTIFYING THE LIBRARIAN'S INVOLVEMENT IN PROMOTING LITERACY IN SCHOOL

A pre-requisite for the development of autonomous pupils through flexible resource-based learning approaches is that pupils master a set of skills which gradually enable them to take control of their own learning. Current emphasis in teaching in schools in Sierra Leone has shifted from "teacher-centred" to "pupil-centred" approach thereby making pupils to "learn how to learn" for themselves so that the integration of process skills into the design of the school curriculum becomes crucial (GoSL,1995). It is in this area of "learning" or "information literacy" skills that one can most clearly see the inter-relationship between the school curriculum and the school library. For pupils to become independent users of information and for this to occur it is vital that they are given the skills to learn how to find information, how to select what is relevant, and how to use it in the best way possible for their own particular needs and take responsibility for their own learning. As information literate, pupils will be able to manage information skilfully and efficiently in a variety of contexts. They will be capable of weighing information carefully and wisely to determine its quality (Marcum2002). Pupils do recognise that having good information is central to meeting the opportunity and challenges of day-to-day living. They are also aware of the importance of how researching across a variety of sources and formats to locate the best information to meet particular needs.

Literacy activities in schools in Sierra Leone are the responsibility of content area teachers, reading consultants and school librarians. Of these the role of the school librarian is paramount. As specialist the school librarian is expected to provide assistance to pupils and teachers alike by locating materials in different subjects, and at different reading levels by making available materials that can be used for motivation and background reading. The school librarian is also expected to provide pupils with instructions in locating strategies related to the library such as doing online searches and skimming through printed reference materials. The librarian is expected to display printed materials within his purview, write specialised bibliographies and lists of addresses on specific subjects at the request of teachers. He should be able to provide pupils with direct assistance in finding and using appropriate materials; recreational reading can be fostered by the librarian's book talks or attractive book displays on high-interest topics like HIV/AIDS, child abuse, child rights, human rights and poverty alleviation. In view of this the fundamental qualities expected of the good school librarian include knowledge of his collection and how to access it; ability to understand the needs of his users more so those of pupils; ability to communicate with pupils and adult users; and knowledge of information skills and how to use information.

ROLE OF THE SCHOOL LIBRARIAN

Pupils' success in school depends to a large extent upon their ability to access, evaluate and use information. Providing access to information and resources is a long-standing responsibility of the school librarian. The school librarian should provide the leadership and expertise necessary to ensure that the library becomes integral in the instructional program of the school. In school the librarian is the information specialist, teacher and instructional consultant. He is the interface responsible for guiding pupils and teachers through the complex information resources housed in his library (Lenox and Walker, 1993). He is looked up to assist and guide numerous users in seeking to use and understand the resources and services of the library. In this respect the school librarian should inculcate in these users such skills as manual and online searching of information; use of equipment; developing critical skills for the organization, evaluation and use of information and ideas as integral part of the curriculum (Lonsdale, 2003). The school librarian should be aware of the range of available information retrieval systems, identify that most suitable to the needs of pupils and provide expertise in helping them become knowledgeable, if not comfortable, in their use. Since no library is self-sufficient the school librarian can network with information agencies, lending/renting materials and/or using electronic devises to transmit information (Tilke, 1998; 2002).

As information specialist the school librarian should be able to share his expertise with those who may wish to know what information sources and/or learning materials are available to support a program of work. Such consultation should be offered to the whole school through the curriculum development committee or to individual subject teachers. The school librarian should take the lead in developing pupils' information literacy skills by being involved with the school curriculum planning and providing a base of resources to meet its needs. He should be aware of key educational initiatives and their impact in teaching and learning; he should be familiar with teaching methods and learning styles in school; over all he should maintain an overview of information literacy programmes within the school (Herring, 1996; Kuhlthau, 2004).

Kuhlthau (2004) opined that information seeking is a primary activity of life and that pupils seek information to deepen and broaden their understanding of the world around them. When therefore, information in school libraries is placed in a larger context of learning, pupils' perspective becomes an essential component in information provision. The school librarian should ensure that skills, knowledge and attitude concerning information access, use and communication, are integral part of the school curriculum. Information skills are crucial in the life-long learning process of pupils. As short term objective the school librarian should provide a means of achieving learning objectives within the curriculum; as long term information skills have a direct impact on individual pupils' ability to deal effectively with a changing environment. Therefore the school librarian should work in concert with teachers and administrators to define the scope and sequence of the information relevant to the school curriculum and ensure its integration throughout the instructional programs (Tilke, 2002; Birks and Hunt, 2003). Pupils should be encouraged to realise their potential as informed citizens who critically think and solve problems. In view of the relationship between the curriculum and school library, the librarian should serve on the curriculum committee ensuring that information access skills are incorporated into subject areas. The school librarian's involvement in the curriculum development will permit him to provide advice on the use of a variety of instructional strategies such as learning centres and problem-solving software, effective in communicating content to pupils (Herring, 1996; Birks and Hunt, 2003).

Literacy could be actively developed as pupils need access to specific resources, demonstrate understanding of their functionality and effective searching skills. In this regard pupils should be given basic instruction to the library, its facilities and services and subsequent use. Interactive teaching methods aimed at information literacy education should be conducted for the benefit of pupils. Teaching methods could include an outline of a variety of aides like quizzes and worksheets of differing complexity level to actively engage pupils in learning library skills and improving their information literacy. Classes should be divided into small groups so that pupils could have hands-on-experience using library resources. Where Internet services are available in the library online tutorials should be provided. Post session follow-up action will ensure that pupils receive hands-on-experience using library resources. Teaching methods should be constantly evaluated to identify flaws and improve on them.

Further the school librarian should demonstrate willingness to support and value pupils in their use of the library through: provision of readers' guides; brochures; book marks; library handbooks/guides; computerization of collection; helpful guiding throughout the library; and regular holding of book exhibitions and book fairs. Since there are community radio stations in the country the school librarian could buy air time to report library activities, resources and services. He can also communicate to pupils through update newspapers. Pupils could be encouraged to contribute articles on library development, book reviews and information about opening times and services. The school librarian could help pupils to form book and reading clubs, organize book weeks and book talks using visiting speakers and renowned writers to address pupils. Classes could also be allowed to visit the library to facilitate use. More importantly the school librarian should provide assistance to pupils in the use of technology to access information outside the library. He should offer pupils opportunities related to new technology, use and production of varied media formats, and laws and polices regarding information. In order to build a relevant resource base for the school community the librarian should constantly carry out needs assessment, comparing changing demands to available resources.

The Internet is a vital source for promoting literacy in the school library. The school librarian should ensure that the library has a website that will serve as guide to relevant and authoritative sources and as a tool for learning whereby pupils and teachers are given opportunity to share ideas and solutions (Herring, 2003). Through the Internet pupils can browse the library website to learn how to search and develop information literacy skills. In order for pupils to tap up-to-date sources from the Net the school librarian should constantly update the home page, say on a daily basis, if necessary. Simultaneously the school librarian should avail to pupils and teachers sheets/guides to assist them in carrying out their own independent researches. He should give hands-on-experience training to users to share ideas with others through the formation of "lunch time" or "after school support groups". Such activities could help pupils to develop ideas and searching information for a class topic and assignment.

Even the location of the library has an impact in promoting literacy in school. The library should be centrally located, close to the maximum number of teaching areas. It should be able to seat at least ten per cent of school pupils at any given time, having a wide range of resources vital for teaching and learning programs offered in school. The library should be characterised by good signage for the benefit of pupil and teacher users with up-to-date displays to enhance the literacy skills of pupils and stimulating their intellectual curiosity Indeed the promotion of literacy should be integral in the school curriculum and that the librarian should be able to play a leading role to ensure that the skills, knowledge and attitudes related to information access are inculcated in pupils and teachers alike as paramount users of the school library. But the attainment of this goal is dependent on a supportive school administration, always willing and ready to assist the library and its programs financially. To make the librarian more effective he should be given capacity building to meeting the challenges of changing times.
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Traditional Educational Institutions in Child Education

Academic institutions of learning are now turned into international communities with diverse students of varied and complex cultures. As a result, instructors must strive to put in structures to accommodate all the cultural diversities of students in his/her class. This is very important because educational institutions must be communities where cultural hybridism is encouraged to serve as a pilot community of peace and unity. However, instructors must be assisted with practical steps in knowing how to handle a class of students with varied cultures. This would prevent any form of culture abuse that may stir anger, chaos and mar the unity that should be the hallmark of every academic institution.

The instructor must provide a learning context that is friendly to all cultures. To be able to do this, the instructor must take time to study the different cultures of the students in his/her class. S/he must research and know more about the cultures of the students so that s/he wouldn't offend any of the students via the instructional delivery, demeanor or attitude. For instance, when citing examples to illustrate points highlighted in lessons, the instructor must not use a particular ethnic society or culture and paint a bad image about them. It would even be better not to cite any example using a particular cultural group. Also, offensive language of particular cultural groups must be taken out of instructional materials such as reading materials to be given to students. In addition, the instructor must bridle the tongue so as not to say anything offensive. Students must notice from the instructor's speech that s/he talks well of every culture and does not favor one culture over the others.

Another powerful way of dealing with a multi-cultural class is for the instructor to ensure cultural integration amongst students. When group works, assignments and presentations are given, the instructor must carefully pair students from the different cultural backgrounds in each group. This would promote cultural tolerance even amongst the students. More importantly, the students would learn how to relate respectfully to people of different cultures. These working groups would afford them the opportunity to see the good traits evident in members of different cultural groups. It would help them in correcting the wrong perceptions people have about people from specific cultural backgrounds.

Instructors must constantly vary individuals who act as facilitators in the class. This would erase any mental biases in the minds of the students. If possible, an instructor can show through his clothing that s/he accepts people of different cultures by wearing to class the noted attire of the particular cultural groups in his/her class. This is, in fact, a personal decision, though it is one of the sure means of preempting any cultural bias that may be in the minds of the students.

In addition, instructors must tolerate the values and norms held in high esteem by the different cultural groups in the class. In no way should the highly valued systems of a particular cultural group be mocked at, reduced as unimportant or negated against. Students who disrespect the cultures of their colleagues must be punished to serve as a warning for the others not to tread their steps. Expensive jokes that poke fun on the cultures of particular groups must be avoided and must not be entertained by the instructor in class discussions. This would ensure that all cultures are appraised and appreciated, bolstering respect for the diversified cultural groups while fostering unity in the class which are the required tools for the provision of an enabling environment for discharging effective teaching and learning activities. The term museum is from Ancient Greek, Mouseoin, which means "the place sacred to the muses." According to Greek Mythology Mouseoin was the temple of muses, the nine goddesses that presided over poetry, songs, the arts, sciences and learning. In Greek Mythology the nine goddesses were the daughters of Zeus, the King of the gods and Mnemosyne, the goddess of memory. The Greeks believed that the muses lived on Mount Olympus with their leader, the god Apollo (American Association of Museums, 2000). In the 3rd century B.C. during the rule of the Ptolemy Dynasty, when the Greeks ruled over Ancient Egypt, Ptolemy 1 Soter founded an institution for literary and scientific study in Alexandria and called it a museum. With the revival of learning during the Renaissance in the 15th century A.D. Italian scholars kept their collections of historical materials in rooms called museums. The Renaissance nobles also had adorned their palaces with art, sculpture and collections of curiosities. It was much later that private collections passed to public ownership and were put on display. For example Pope Sixtus IV opened the Capitoline Museum to the public in 1447 and this was followed by Cesarini also in Rome. The first museum to be operated as a national institution was the British Museum in 1753 followed by the Palace of Louvre in Paris in 1793.Other famous museums are the Art Gallery in which the Mona Lisa is portrayed, the Metropolitan in New York, the Prado in Madrid, the Hermitage in Petersburg (Leningrad), and the Smithsonian in Washington (Sears, 2006).

ORIGINS AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE SIERRA LEONE NATIONAL MUSEUM

'There is always something new from Africa' stated Pliny who lived from 23-79 A.D. This vast continent of Africa has some many firsts. The north of Africa is believed to be the cradle of civilization that is Ancient Egypt. It was in Ancient Egypt that the first museum came into existence. Further south are almost impassible barriers of desert and tropical forests, and beyond these, lies the greater part of Africa known to the Arabs as Bilad-as-Sudan, the land of the Black people. It was in this part of Africa in the Rift Valley in East Africa also known as Eastern Sudan that the oldest form of human life was discovered. The Western Sudan (West Africa) can boast of powerful ancient empires like Ghana, Songhai, Mali and Kanem Bornu.

Sierra Leone too has a very rich and diverse heritage. She has an abundant natural life; her archaeological sites date back to the Old Stone Age in Africa. Oral traditions date back to the time when the ancestors of current inhabitants settled in their respective areas. There is a great diversity of numerous secret societies with their associated cultural materials such as the Poro, Bondo, Gbagbani, Kofo, Regbainlay and Mathoma Secret Societies. There are also the old traditional arts and crafts monuments and relics which commemorate people and events long ago. This heritage has been built upon over the years by the works of sculptors, architects, painters, musicians, blacksmiths, goldsmiths and other creators of form and beauty. Up to 1957 Sierra Leone had no museum. The Monument and Relics Commission of 1st June 1947 provided the basis for the protection and preservation of ancient, historical and natural monuments, relics and other objects of archaeological, ethnographical (traditional Art ) and historical or other scientific interest as laid down by the Act. These historical relics were scattered all over the country collecting dust and mould in government ware houses, while her ethnographical treasures were being destroyed by weather wood-boring insects. In 1954, Sir Robert de Zouche Hall, a former Governor General challenged the Sierra Leone Society to create a National Museum for the country. This museum, according to the Governor, can contribute to the growth of national pride by collecting and preserving objects and making them available for contemplation and study. This challenge was taken up by M.C.F. Easmon and others with the formation of a Museum Sub-Committee (Cummings, 1996). The Old Cotton Tree Railway Station was acquired and rehabilitated, with the help of government, and was opened on the 10th December, 1957. The National Museum, according to Sir Maurice Dorman, was intended to collect, put in order and preserve the work of man's hands that was fast disappearing from the lives of Sierra Leoneans. The National Museum, he added, 'should be a place where the illiterate man can be inspired by the display of what is best in his culture, both in the past and present, there-by keeping a record of Sierra Leone for posterity.'

MUSEUM COVERAGE

The Sierra Leone National Museum covers three areas: Archaeology, History and Ethnography. In the area of Archaeology there are large steatite (soapstone) heads, the Maye Yafe or Chiefs' devils. These are believed to bring good luck to Chiefs and bad luck to the common man. There are figures called Nomoli, which are an enigma and are of unknown antiquity. The curator believes that these figures date back to the Middle Stone Age. There is a large collection of poetry and potsherds and it is believed that some of the pots on display in the museum date back to B.C. days. There is also an abundance of Old Stone Age tools such as choppers, hand axes, and polished New Stone Age tools together with many steatite bored stones which were once used as currency and as digging stick weights. In the History area the most prominent item is the original Charter of Sierra Leone signed in 1799 by King George III by which the settlement became a British Colony. There are also models of the de Reuter Stone on which the Admiral engraved his name after sacking Bunce and Tasso Islands in 1664. Bunce Island was a depot from where slaves were transported across the Atlantic Ocean. There are effigies of the late Sir Milton Margai, the first Prime Minister of Sierra Leone and Bai Bureh, the last warrior chief who fought the British from 1898-1902. There is also a host of materials drawn from the colonial period such as canon, staffs of chiefs, swords, medals, coins, photographs, paintings and documents. In the area of Ethnography (Traditional Art) there are fully dressed masquerading dancers e.g. Sowei of the Bondo Society, Goboi, the regalia of Chiefs, Secret Society paraphernalia, exquisite carved masks, carvings in human and animal form, indigenous musical instruments like the drums which are integral in African rituals in birth, initiation and death, textile, basketry and other crafts. The Sierra Leone National Museum has a magnificent collection of artifacts and is truly a store house of the nation's cultural treasures (Sierra Leone National Museum Prospectus, 2013).

ROLE OF THE MUSEUM

The Sierra Leone National Museum preserves the national heritage; it is a complex institution for research, education and culture. It is an instrument of mass education, which caters for the needs of literates and illiterates, both young and old. Children of school going age make up the largest public served by the National Museum through guided tours. Apart from school groups individual children visit the museum every day. The museum exhibits are relevant to the school syllabi more so in disciplines like History, Social Studies, Agricultural Science and Civics. Thus essay and poster competitions are run by the museum for children. Since Art is the most natural means of expression of people who can't read and write the exhibits in the National Museum are so arranged that they can speak for themselves. The museum is an important research center. It is research that brings the museum to life and makes it much more than a repository of dead objects. As research center the National Museum is the only place in the country where someone can find such historical documents like the Sierra Leone Charter. Thus students from both higher and tertiary institutions as well as researchers (locally and internationally) make extensive use of museum material in writing their projects. Some of the topics widely researched on in the museum are the origins of St John's Maroon Church, tourism as instrument of socioeconomic development, traditional schools in Sierra Leone during pre-colonial, colonial and contemporary times, interment rites of paramount chiefs among different ethnic groups in the country, and mining in pre-colonial Sierra Leone.

The Sierra Leone National Museum is not only established for elites and the scholarly community but also to provide a service for the general public. The basic purpose of the museum is to enable the public to know and appreciate under conditions of display the artifacts which the institution collects, preserves and protects. Entrance to the museum is free because it is not only a national museum but also part of an international agreement (International Council of Museum) to which the Sierra Leone National Museum is a signatory should. Sierra Leoneans are aware of the fact that the National Museum forms an integral part of the local culture. The specimens of the cultures represented in the museum are currently in use and people are conscious of their existence and functions. The museum though national also interests non-national public composed mostly of European, American and Asian nationals, most of these are ignorant of African culture in general and Sierra Leonean culture in particular. Paradoxically the museum has touched both an informed and quite largely illiterate as well as educated and totally uninitiated publics. The following are a few remarks from the Museum's Visitors Book:

• It is spectacular, keep it up! (A Nigerian).

• We entered into African mysteries (An Italian).

• Very interesting! Very painful especially the slaves (An American).

• Most and the best experience in Local History).

• It goes a long way in preserving our cultural heritage (A Sierra Leonean).

The Sierra Leone National Museum is an exhibition and communication center. It provides contact with real objects. It disseminates information about Sierra Leonean Art. Art pieces are themselves documents which are eloquent. From naturalistic figures held in the museum people can learn about the dress of the time. A sculptured piece reveals a little more than the person portrayed. For instance a carved warrior or hunter in the museum shows the type of weapon used at the time. The museum steers clear of ethnic distribution in the country of its objects. It aims at representing rather than pointing out local peculiarities. For example Rhythmic Arts (musical instruments), Occupations (fishing gear, basketry and pottery), cultural objects (insignia of Chiefs and bride money), and Women's Activities (ornaments, combs and cooking utensils)) are portrayed in the museum. The reason being that both urban and rural visitors are anxious to see their ways of life reflected in the "Ancestral Home," which is the museum. As local visitors go round the museum they search attentively for utensils, tools, weapons or familiar faces and are usually delighted or sometimes complaint to staff when these are absent. In brief the Museum plays a very important part at national and international levels. It helps the public to appreciate articles illustrating history. As repository of the national heritage it helps people to find the elements of their past and to acquire new spiritual wealth. The Museum renews in Sierra Leoneans a sense of belonging to a particularly civilization and stimulates in them the spirit of national pride and cohesion which are essential ingredients in nation building.

MEMBERSHIP OF PROFESSIONAL ORGANISATIONS

The Sierra Leone National Museum is a member of several professional bodies both at home and overseas. It has been a member of the International Council of Museums (ICOM) since 1964. The Museum is also a member of the Organization for Museums, Monuments and Sites in Africa (OMMSA), the cultural arm of the then Organization of African Unity (OAU), currently African Union(AU ). The Museum is represented in the Arts Education Association of Sierra Leone, which in the past organized Art Festivals in schools and colleges; it is also represented in the Public Archives Commission and the Sierra Leone Association of Librarians, Archivists and Information Professionals(SLAALIP).

The Sierra Leone National Museum continues to enjoy cordial relationship with UNESCO which has assisted in staff training and supply of equipment; the West African Museums Program in Dakar(WAMP),which has conducted several workshops on conservation and preservation of artifacts. Foreign Missions too have contributed immensely to the development of the museum. For example the Federal Republic of Germany in Sierra Leone erected an extension of the museum as a bicentenary gift. The French Embassy in Sierra Leone through the French Cooperation Technical Department rehabilitated the Old Cotton Tree Museum Building. The United States of America, through the Department of the United States Information Services has on several occasions invited the curator to visit the USA which has resulted to close links with the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, the Museum of African Art in Washington, Metropolitan Museum in New York and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. The U S Embassy was also instrumental in the twinning relationship with the Museum of Coastal History, St. Simons Island, Georgia. Through these links the Museum was supplied with the results of Indiana-American research projects, pamphlets, calendars of coming events, posters and future exhibitions. The twinning with the Museum of Coastal History, St Simons Island, Georgia, USA has led to the investigation of the "Trans-Atlantic Linkage-the Sierra Leone and the Gullah/Geechee Connection." There has been a series of exchange visits between curators and the Great Spring Lecture was delivered at Fort Frederica, St Simon Island in 1995. In the same year a joint exhibition and a symposium was held on the "Trans-Atlantic Linkage" in Georgia.

CHALLENGES

One of the primary concerns of the Sierra Leone National Museum is how to combat the theft and illicit exportation of cultural artifacts. The Government of Sierra Leone has formulated a comprehensive national policy with statutes as contained in the Monuments and Relics Ordinance of 1947. The Ordinance provides for the preservation of ancient, historical and natural monuments, relics and other objects of historical, ethnographical and scientific interest. Any person who desires to export from the country any ethnographical item must submit it to the National Museum; a license will be issued which should be shown to customs officers at the point of departure. If an intended item for exportation has cultural, historical or archaeological value it will be retained in the country as part of the national heritage. Anyone found violating any of the regulations is liable to criminal prosecution under the provision of the Ordinance. If found guilty the person concerned will have to pay a fine of two hundred pounds sterling. In default of payment, the person will serve a prison sentence not exceeding six months. However, in spite of the efforts made by the Museum to protect cultural property smuggling of artifacts continues. It is disturbing to note that in Sierra Leone educated and intelligent persons purchase, sell and export protected cultural materials just for the sake of business promotion. What is more Sierra Leone has porous borders which people use to advantage in smuggling cultural materials out of the country with impunity.

Further the public service that the National Museum plays warrants public expenditure, especially if standards are to be maintained. Sadly government grants to the museum are meagre and this poses another challenge for the running of the museum. Often salaries paid to staff are not only discouraging often but delayed in payment. In 2014 for instance so much salary backlog was owed staff that staff struck and the museum ceased to operate for a while. Besides the National Museum does not have branches in the provinces but only centered in the capital city, Freetown. Staff are limited in number and ill-motivated. Hardly are they engaged in capacity building due to lack of funds. This has led to massive staff turn-over. More over working in the museum is not well regarded nation-wide. Most people view it as a job for school drop outs. Thus young people do not like pursuing museology as a career. Also staff do not embark on massive public education on the importance of the museum in society. Little wonder why school going children form the largest number of visitors to the museum as opposed to government functionaries and key stake holders in the country. Even the line ministry, the Ministry of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, the Museum is under does not seem to understand its importance in nation building. The Ministry priorities its activities and supporting the museum is not a priority. Thus in time of economic stringency the museum is a prone area to swindle funds (Sierra Leone National Museum Prospectus, 2013). If therefore government wants the National Museum to continue playing an ever increasing role in national development there is every need for government functionaries to give second thought on how best they can support it to meet this goal. Where the challenges faced by management are addressed the museum too can help generate the much needed foreign exchange in addition to its preservation of the national heritage.
Sierra Leone is bounded on the north-west, north and north-east by the Republic Guinea, on the south-east by the Republic of Liberia and on south-west by the Atlantic Ocean. It has an area of 27,925 square miles. The colony of Sierra Leone originated in the sale and cession in 1787 by native chiefs to English settlers of a piece of land intended as a home for African settlers who were waifs in London and later it was used as a settlement for freed African slaves. The hinterland was declared a British Protectorate on 21st August, 1896. Sierra Leone attained independence on 27th April, 1961 and became a Republic in 1971. Education is provided by both private and state-sponsored schools. The current system of education is 6-3-4-4 (that is six years Primary school, three years Junior Secondary School, four years Senior Secondary School and four years tertiary/higher education. This system is complemented by non- formal education.

CONCEPT OF EDUCATION

Education is frequently used in the sense of instruction in the classroom, laboratory, workshop or domestic science room and consists principally in the imparting by the teacher, and the acquisition by pupils, of information and mental as well as manual skills. A wider meaning than instruction is that of schooling. That is to say all that goes on within the school as part of the pupil's life there. It includes, among other things, relationship between pupils and teachers, pupils and pupils both in and outside the school. J. S. Mill (1931) opined that whatever helps to shape the human being; to make the individual what he is or hinder him from being what he is not is part of his education. Implicitly education is lifelong and ubiquitous; it is the sum total of all influences which go to make a person what he is, from birth to death. It includes the home, our neighbors, and the street among others.

Education is to some extent a deliberate planned process devised and conducted by the educator with the purpose of imbuing the learner with certain information, skills, of mind and body as well as modes of behavior considered desirable. In part it is the learner's own response to the environment in which he lives. Education has three focal points: the individual/person upon whom the educator's influences are brought to bear; the society or community to which he belongs; and the whole context of reality within which the individual and society play their part. Man is a social creature; he grows as a person through the impact of personality on personality; and even for his basic physical needs he depends on the help and cooperation of his fellow men and women. Without society and the mutual support and enrichment of experiences which it provides civilization is impossible and the life of man, in Hobbes' words, is "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short."

One of the fundamental facts of human existence is the tension between the pull of the past and the forward urge into the future, between stability and change, tradition and innovation. For effective living,man needs a circle of security, an area of established habits and relationship which forms dependable relationships. This is also true of society. For its effective functioning there must be an underlying continuity of traditions and outlook which preserves its identity as a society and safeguards it against the disruptive effects of change. Change must be for life and not static but this change in turn must be controlled by the basic traditions of society. It is tradition which gives a nation its character and distinctiveness as a society. The conservation of tradition therefore is obviously crucial.

It has been recognized from time immemorial that the conservation of traditional education has a vital part to play in the development of the child. The children of today are the adults of tomorrow; they must be trained therefore, to inherit and perpetuate the beliefs and modes of life peculiar to the particular society to which they belong. For every society has the desire to preserve itself not only physically but as community consciously sharing certain aims, ideals and patterns of behavior. This type of education is not necessarily formal in schools by means of classroom instruction but that effected indirectly through the family and through the impact on the individual of social influences and customs which the child cannot evade. In Sierra Leone this social education included elaborate ceremonies of initiation involving feats of endurance in which young men and women must prove themselves worthy of the community. The ultimate goal was to produce an individual who was honest, respectful, skilled, cooperative, and who could conform to the social order of the day. As Aristotle once stated "the constitution of a state will suffer if education is neglected. The citizens of a state should always be educated to suit the constitution of the state. The type of character appropriate to a constitution is the power which continues to sustain it as it is also the state force which originally created it" (p. I).

TRADITIONAL EDUCATION IN SOCIETY

Traditional education has both a creative and conservation function in society; it is a powerful means of preserving a society's customs, if not culture. In the past the nature and needs of society played a vital part in determining the nature of education. Professor M.V.C. Jeffreys (1950) once wrote in his book, Glaucon, that "in a tranquil society the educational system will tend to reflect the social pattern, while social uneasiness and instability create opportunity for using education as an instrument of social change"(p.7). A similar view was shared by John Dewey (1897) who opined that through education society can formulate its own purposes, can organize its own means and resources and thus save itself with definiteness and economy in the direction in which it wishes to move. Education looks both to the past and the future; inevitably it reflects the traditions and character of society. Traditional education can be used to prepare for changes in society and anticipate and prevent changes or the effects of changes in society.

Traditional education conserves and hands on the customs and ways of life which constitute the character of a society and maintains its unity. It also helps society to interpret its functions in new ways to meet the challenges of change, seeking ways or lines of development which are consistent with the traditions and customs and will at the same time raise society to a more complete fulfillment of itself.
TRADITIONAL EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS IN SIERRA LEONE

History reveals that there were no formal schools where children were educated in Pre-colonial Sierra Leone. The Poro and Bondo/Sande Secret Societies were looked upon as institutions to train children. They were bush schools. And the education these bush schools provided was informal. Children who went through these secret societies were considered capable of carrying out their civic responsibilities. They became adults and can marry and start life. They considered themselves as one family. In other words both Secret Societies created a sense of comradeship and unity among members irrespective of family, clan or ethnic affiliation. It was therefore considered that children who had not gone through these secret societies were not fully matured.

The Poro Secret Society is for boys. The spiritual head of the Poro Society is Pa Gbonu, seen only by the older graduates or members. The physical heads are the Pa Sama Yorgbors and Pa Somanos. They direct the activities of the institution. The senior instructors are the Pa Kashis, who generally teach and give instructions to other initiators. The Pa Manchiyas serve as teachers to the initiates while the Kachemas are the scaring spirits. They scare the women and children alike together with the new initiates. The Rakas are the errand boys carrying messages around. The Yambas are the head boys. The Bomos are the senior prefects while the Sayboms are the prefects; and the monitors are the Gbanaboms. Informal classes are held in the Secret Poro Bush. The subjects taught include Creative Practical Arts, Performing Arts, Practical Agriculture, Medicine i.e. use of local herbs for the treatment of different ailments), warfare and other skills. In Creative Practical Arts initiates are taught how to make fishing nets, baskets, mats, and carving wood and soap stones into different objects such as animals and humans; in Performing Arts initiates are taught singing, dancing and the use of Poro musical instruments. In Practical Agriculture initiates practice farming. Boys are taught to bear hardship without complaint and grow accustomed to it. Thus they are taken to the farms of their teachers and elders to work on pro bono basis. However during the harvest season initiates could pass through these farms taking whatever they need and eat without being questioned by farm owners. Initiates are taught to respect elders and use of guns to kill animals. In a similar vein initiates are taught how to use guns in fighting in defense of their communities. Other skills initiates are taught include making fish traps, fishing and hunting net, and basketry. In the use of herbs initiates pay money (some freely given) for healing various sicknesses as well as for protection against enemies, evil spirits and snake bites. Initiates who want to cause harm to others using herbs could 'redeem' the herb/medicine concerned. Over all initiates are taught a new Language spoken only by members called Ke Sornor. For example fonka trika meaning I am talking to you; fonka bonomi meaning Talk to me. The use of this new Language makes graduates very proud and feel different from non-initiates. Graduates come out with new names such as Lamp, Langba and Kolerr. A graduation ceremony climaxes the event.

Parents make massive preparations including sewing dresses for the graduates. To mark the graduation ceremony there is feasting, drinking, dancing and singing praise songs for the graduates and their parents. Those qualified for initiation must have been circumcised and grown to age of puberty. They have to live on their own during the period of training which ranges from one to seven years. Graduates are fully admitted to the general Poro society through another ceremony called Enkorie, which lasts for four days.

The Bondo/Sande Society is the institution where girls are trained for womanhood. Its spiritual head is Na Bondigba. The Na Gboyamas and Na Wulus are the physical heads. These have spiritual powers used to foretell the future and catch witches. They are the senior teachers. The Na Sokos are the service teachers. They can initiate girls even up to the advanced stage of the Society. The Digbas are the general teachers and stay close to the initiates. The Sampas are the skillful dancers and errand girls/women. They make announcements about the progress and activities or programs during the graduation ceremony.

The Na Fets, as the name implies do not know all the secrecy of the institution. They carry the institutional implements and regalia. The Karr Ayeamus are the 'waiters' to be initiated into the higher status of the institution. Girls admitted to the Bondo/Sande Society are trained informally. Classes are held at Kantha or sacred home. The teachers are largely concerned with the transmission to these adolescent girls the skills and knowledge which adult women are expected to possess in order to function properly and intelligently in their community. The subjects girls are taught include Cooking, Performing Arts, Fishing, Husband and Child Care, and Home Management. In Cooking girls are taught how to prepare food through observation and participation in the preparation of various dishes and are later allowed to have a go with little or no supervision. Those who could not cook properly are allowed to repeat. In Performing Arts girls are taught how to compose and sing songs and how to beat the Bondo/Sande drums (sambories). Alongside singing girls are taught how to dance and those who dance well may join the hierarchy of the Sampas. Girls are also taught how to fishing, make fishing nets, fishing baskets, sleeping mats from bamboo and palm leaves. Further girls are taught how to help their prospective husbands and how to take care of children especially those of senior members. Like the Poro Society graduation ceremonies are marked by massive preparations. Both parents and prospective husbands would buy new dresses, slippers, perfumes, powder, and beads to make neck laces. On the day of the graduation ceremony the new initiates are arrayed in white with coronets. They come out with new names such as Burah, Yeanor, Rukor and Yainkain. This demonstrates a sign of maturity. Initiating girls into Bondo/Sande society lasts between a few months and three years.

CHALLENGES

If education has the vital function of perpetuating the traditions and values of society, of adapting them to a changing environment, and of raising them to richer and more fruitful expression then both the Poro and Bondo/Sande Secret Societies, as traditional agents of this process should enjoy a position of the highest esteem. Through these secret societies the nation's culture flows from one generation to the other and the aspirations of society are focused with intimate and telling persuasion upon the young. They stand at a point where the energies of children are released into new and creative possibilities. Through these secret societies children remember the past activities of their predecessors. They help in behavioral training patterns of society. These societies are institutions of inspiration and both politicians and chiefs use them to advantage. That is to either gain or maintain power. Major and binding decisions are taken in the Poro Bush of which only members are allowed to attend and take part. The Poro Secret Society acts as a check against the abuse of power. In crisis ridden situations major decision are taken in the Poro Bush. The Poro society even acts as arbitrator in chiefdom disputes and could promulgate general laws and regulate trading practices. It is also involved in the burial of chiefs and other important local officials (Alie, 1990).

Western education has existed in the country for long and is now so integral part of the civilized life that there is a tendency to assume that it is the main or sole means of imparting skills, knowledge and social values in children. This is not the case in Sierra Leone. The importance of the Poro and Bondo traditional secret societies cannot be over-sighted because of their enormous potentiality in educating children for life in society. Fundamental is that respect for persons as persons is the basis of traditional society. Linked with this is courtesy, sensitivity to the needs of others, cooperativeness, self-discipline, moral and physical courage, hard work and high standards of achievement. These are passed on to children in the environment in which they are part of their daily experiences. Notwithstanding, these traditional institutions as agents of education are currently faced with many challenges there-by forcing their demise. The practice of female genital circumcision is of international concern and in Sierra Leone people are agitating for its total ban. Currently girls are allowed to be circumcised at age eighteen during which time a child is perceived to be matured enough to choose whether or not to be initiated into the Bondo/Sande secret society. In addition the period of initiation is perceived too long and is being challenged. Besides children these days no longer have to be initiated into these societies to be taught how to be clean, cook, rear children, practice agriculture, and inculcate morals and virtues to cite a few examples. All these could be learnt either in or outside formal schooling through reading. What is more Religion, especially Christianity and Islam, western life, as well as rural-urban migration are forcing these secret societies to obliteration.

Besides the activities and work of these traditional societies are not in curriculum form and documented. Neither also is the use of herbs documented. Therefore by discontinuing these traditional secret societies Sierra Leoneans stand to lose their cultural heritage. If however, education has the vital function of perpetuating the traditions and values of society, of adapting them to a changing environment, and of raising them to a richer and more fruitful expression then these traditional secret societies, as agents of this process should enjoy a position of the highest esteem. Through these societies the national culture flows from one generation to another and the aspirations of society are focused with intimate and telling persuasion upon the young. These secret societies stand at the point where the energies of children are released into new and creative possibilities.
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