Stress kills,” those were the first words from our school chaplain during a newly introduced pastoral hour by the Ministry of Education in all schools.
As he continued with the session, I noticed my fellow students were silent and attentive.
Unlike previous sessions on social matters, this was very captivating. Evidently, many students have been facing difficult times especially after schools were indefinitely closed in March due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
During the session, students started opening up and you could tell it was evident that some have had traumatising experiences during the prolonged break.
I am not an exception. Personally, I felt the impact of being isolated and fear of fighting an unseen enemy.
By the end of the session, I vowed not to keep silent when things are not okay.
This has left me thinking about those pupils and students yet to return to school. My hope is that such talks will be arranged for them when they open school in January.
I propose more planning ahead of their arrival. The ministry should ensure that the programme runs and have additional trained personnel in every institution to counsel students.
Learners should also be given time to readjust and “heal slowly the wounds” created during the unexpected holiday.
At the moment, those who are charged to be social and moral leaders should take up the chance and engage pupils and students as they start preparing to go back to school.
Of course, I am not saying that you hold moral seminars and camps. I mean right there in your neighbourhood, you can help the young people.
I applaud the ministry for creating such programmes that are meant to help and secure our future as the leaders of tomorrow.
Finally, I urge learners countrywide to grab the chance. Do not allow past experiences derail you from becoming what you aspire to be. Otherwise, remember, smooth seas do not make skillful sailors.