Home Quranet Chapter 12 How can we motivate pupils in a remedial class?
How can we motivate pupils in a remedial class?
Chapter 12

كُنتُمْ خَيْرَ أُمَّةٍ أُخْرِجَتْ لِلنَّاسِ تَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَتَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ وَتُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللّهِ وَلَوْ آمَنَ أَهْلُ الْكِتَابِ لَكَانَ خَيْرًا لَّهُم مِّنْهُمُ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ وَأَكْثَرُهُمُ الْفَاسِقُون َ(سورۃ آل عمران, آيۃ 110)

Ye are the best of peoples, evolved for mankind, enjoining what is right, forbidding what is wrong, and believing in Allah. If only the People of the Book had faith, it were best for them: among them are some who have faith, but most of them are perverted transgressors (Surah 3, Verse 110)

The Al-Qamal school has opened a remedial class this year for children who need help in integrating into the school. There are fifteen regular pupils in the class and others join the class for specific subjects. Muhammed recently joined the arithmetic lessons .In the recess he met his friends from his regular class. "How are you, Muhammed? What's new? What's going on? How's your new class?" they asked him. "It's fun. I'm studying better. The teacher sits with me and explains the material and makes sure that I understand it".

"Yes, what fun!" said Suleiman. "Retarded kids. Just like Rami said - all the retards study there". The boys standing around burst out laughing. Muhammed was very embarrassed and tried hard not to cry. From that moment till the end of the day he was sad and withdrawn. The teacher asked him if something had happened but he remained silent.

Next day he stayed in the classroom in recess so as to avoid the classmates from his regular class. He was afraid they would mock him. The remedial teacher noticed and asked him what had happened in the past two days and if something was bothering him. She said that if he didn't tell her, the problem could not be solved and that was a pity because she could help him. Then he said: "It's true, we are a group of retards". The teacher sighed and asked him who had said such nonsense. "The pupils from my class", he said. "I'm going to talk to my parents and tell all my friends to talk to their parents so that we'll all be sent back to our regular classes". The remedial teacher reminded him that at the beginning of the year, the remedial pupils had confessed that they found life difficult in their regular classes. "Yes, but it's better to be in a class you don't like than in a class of retards", he replied. She realized that this was a serious matter and told his regular teacher and together they went to the principal. They told him how the children were suffering from being mocked and what damage was being caused to their self-esteem.

The principal, class teacher and remedial teacher decided to summon the parents of the children in the regular class and the remedial class and to explain the significance of remedial teaching and the need to combat the stigma of a ‘class for retards'. At the meeting, the principal explained that the teaching in the remedial class was on an individual basis and adapted to each pupil. The pupils were also given enrichment lessons in art, music etc. The parents were surprised and asked what the curriculum was and some asked if their own children could also participate. In conclusion, the principal turned to the pupils of the remedial class and quoted: "Ye are the best of peoples, evolved for mankind, enjoining what is right, forbidding what is wrong, and believing in Allah". From that moment on, the pupils in the remedial class felt proud that both Allah and the school faculty were supporting them.

Explanation: every parent and every teacher knows how important a positive self-image is to success in studies. A student who thinks he is retarded will find it hard to succeed. That is why it is so important to express admiration at achievements and to make children feel that everything depends on their own will and determination. A child needs to see a spark of admiration in the eyes of a parent or teacher when he succeeds because such a response allows him to believe in himself and his abilities. The principal did well to invite all the parents so that it would be clear to them that the pupils in the remedial class were as good as those in the regular classes. If a pupil has difficulties in a certain subject that does not mean that he cannot later achieve as much as the other pupils. The verse the principal quoted can reinforce the pride of the pupils in their class.