News from Rumbek
Loreto students recognised at school awards
Within the setting of a school, the outcomes of a student’s actions are important to the learning process. This is because the outcome of an action influences the repetition of a learner’s behaviour in the future. To encourage certain behaviours, positive reinforcement can be used intentionally.
At Loreto, tangible reinforcements involve rewards such as pens, books and watches. The rewards are powerful motivators, but students are also rewarded with praise from teachers and peers. These desirable outcomes help the students to maintain positive behaviours, which over time become part of their character.
Loreto rewards our students’ efforts in an attempt to recognise their good work and to reinforce a strong work ethic through a culture of healthy competition and diligent study. At the end of each academic year, we recognise students who have distinguished themselves by exhibiting excellence in various areas. In the secondary school, the top five students from each class are awarded for stellar academic performance.
In addition, three students from each class are given awards in three specific categories: the most all-rounded student, the most well-groomed student and the most disciplined student. Some of these attributes are not easily measurable and it involves close scrutiny by the administration and staff.
Awards are also given to the winners of the beauty contest competition, participants in the block-making exercise, student leaders of each club, and the outgoing prefect body. This motivates our students to be more productive and encourages them to work hard. More importantly, by awarding students for diligent work in many areas, the school recognises and encourages the wide range of gifts and strengths found in our student body.
According to Mary Awau, a Senior 3 student, “One can receive more than one award and the other students will work hard to receive awards too. Other learners look onto that student as a good role model and will strive to imitate their hard work. Mostly, they also make it.”
To encourage students to maintain a clean environment, awards are also given as part of a new initiative – the ‘general cleaning competition.’
Martha Ayen of Senior 3W explains, “Clean environment welcomes us to the benefits of sanitation and prevents communicable diseases. Cleaning is intrinsic motivation and the rewards encourage us to keep cleaning well. I also feel the pride of living in the clean place I’ve worked on. At home, we can also clean and our parents are happy as other people can learn from us.”
Christine Adeng, our head girl adds, “The general cleaning competition has really changed, it has taken a new turn since the awarding started. Students have adopted a culture of staying in a clean environment even without taking into account the awarding aspect. Everyone has learnt that a neat living space is very important. Like in the dorms, we ensure there are no cobwebs and our beds are well spread.”
These positive values will help the students to continue building a desirable environment for themselves and for their school community at large.
During our recent awarding exercise in December 2018, students gathered under the shade of the large neem-tree. Those honoured with awards received pens, watches, notebooks, educational and motivational books, and purses.
The head teacher, Mr Yuga, congratulated the student body for the teamwork that had contributed to the year’s successes. He encouraged them to continue to improve in their own talents and areas of interest, with a strong focus on academics.