Essay from Chimezie Ihekuna

Chimezie Ihekuna (Mr. Ben) Young Black man in a collared shirt and jeans resting his head on his hand. He's standing outside a building under an overhang.
Chimezie Ihekuna
My Falsified Report Card

I have always been reluctant toward education, especially what is taught in the classroom. Though my mother was teacher, I had always had some phobia towards learning. I would prefer to stay at home rather than go to school. My parents would have to drag me! Going to school from Mondays to Fridays has always been a nightmare. The good times I enjoy were usually the weekends and holidays.

As a consequence, I was not sound academically: always at the bottom of the performance pile. During examinations, I was usually faced with uncertainties. Reading and understanding were my pertinent problems, despite having stand-by lesson teachers to take me on all subjects at home, as soon as I was done with school. In all of those, however, I was always happy when I was through with tests and examinations and looked forward to the subsequent holidays.

My parents were particularly concerned about my academic performance. Playful I was, I turn deaf ears to their words of advice. They were indeed a busy people. My father was an engineer who had to work almost half a day and retired home late at nights. My mother worked hard to support the family through teaching in various classrooms and offering extra lessons to add to her income.

From my first year at elementary school to my fourth year, my results were all in the negative. My mother expressed her frustration on me as I came home with bad academic results every term. It got so worse to the point I was being scolded through the weapon of the whip. It became the ‘new normal’ I had to face every term of academic session  I came home with the ‘usual academic result’

My teachers were concerned. My mathematics, English and social studies teachers offered extra times to painstakingly teach me on a one-on-one basis. Yet, all their efforts prove abortive. I was left on my own. In fact, my parents got fed up and consequently gave up on me! They fired all of my lesson teachers. I was left at the mercy of several house-helps: paid home helpers whose responsibility centered on taking care of the home, my three younger siblings and me.

Between the years 1990-1995, my elementary school years were seriously boring times. I got tired of receiving the usual bad results every term (four months) and seeing my parents getting upset. Through the help of a friend, Olumide Coker, I was able to do the ‘unthinkable.’ I was at my fourth year at elementary school (Yewande Memorial School, to be precise) when the ugly incident happened. Olumide came to my house with a Tipex Ink-what was used to make alterations to figures as shown in the Report Card-a document that validates the performance of pupils. Together, we changed every score and percentage in it! The scores and percentages showed  an unusual' excellency of my result'. My report card! I felt good and thought my parents would be happy seeing the bad results ‘changed’ to good! I never knew I was in for a shocker!

When I showed my parents my report card, they knew it was obviously sketchy. My mother asked, 'Are you sure this is your report card?' Afraid I was, 'Yes, it is' was my reply. Later that day, 'Your report card looks funny. I will call the attention of your head teacher the next session. Are you sure this your report card?' were my dad's words. 'That's my result' I answered, feeling guilty. 

The early part next session saw my dad brought the attention of my head teacher at my fourth year of elementary school. Then, I just got promoted to the next class-the fifth year of elementary school. It was there the truth had to be unearthed. I altered my report card! After much interrogations, I bowed to the pressure mounted on me. 

I was not only humiliated in the presence of my parents but also the entire classes and levels  of my school. I felt the ground opened up and swallow me completely! My fellow pupils in class, seniors and juniors made spectacle of me throughout that day and for several months . It took me time to get over the consequence of my action. It was a day I live to remember.

Looking back to that ordeal, I can't help but assert 'it's a thing of the past'.

1 thought on “Essay from Chimezie Ihekuna

  1. So sweet memory of school life. Result or marks sheet tempering is a natural matter and as a teacher I have also seen it in my teaching experience from the kids. They do it in fear of their parents. And some others sometimes take the serious decision for committing suicide also. Very practically written and enjoyable frustrating the past school life.

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