I used to admire Gloria’s academic excellence each time she was called up to receive her award for best academic performance during her school’s end-of-year award ceremony. It was a private school. I was still basking in the euphoria of one of such awards when I engaged one of the teachers in that school in a casual discussion. I could not help but express my admiration for Gloria’s intellectual sagacity. In the course of our discussion, the teacher made a startling revelation. He told me in confidence that Gloria always got that award because of her mother’s insistence that the first position must be awarded to her daughter. Gloria’s mother was a close relation of the school proprietor.
This disclosure turned my admiration into worry. I was worried when I realised the extent of pollution and confusion her mother’s influence on the teacher’s assessment of her examination performance would introduce in Gloria’s developmental process. Of course, Gloria’s academic performance since she left that primary school is a clear evidence of the negative outcome of her mother’s action in ignorance. Gloria was haunted by that development even up to the higher institution. Children of school owners, administrators and teachers may be exposed to this challenge if their parents are ignorant of its damaging effect.
Reward is a motivator because awardees are encouraged to continue in the direction of the behaviour or effort that yielded success. Therefore, award will promote hard work and good behaviour if it is meritoriously given. On the order hand, complacency and mediocrity would be promoted if reward is received when it is not earned.
Children tend to develop well and gradually improve if they are able to relate their efforts and actions with the results they obtain. Great parents allow children to get what they deserve.
-Uchenna N. Nduka