National exams for grade 10 and 12 students are a very big deal in country as they are the only way for students to go on to university. They’re competitive since there are far more grade 12 finishers than spots at universities. Students take seven exams over five days with each block being three hours which makes for exhausted brains as the week goes on.
I get to proctor these exams as an external invigilator for another school. The week is tiring for me as well as it involves trips to town and the education office multiple times. I’m just not a fan of being on the road and I dread the emails that pile up in my inbox when I’m away from the office. The school I was at this year didn’t have working water which meant no toilets and dehydrating myself for the week; I missed my morning routine of sipping coffee at my computer.
But the highlight this year was when a cockatoo walked into the classroom. The students truly could not have cared less. They were cool and calm and just kept working hard. I watched the cockatoo poke around and then leave the room after it seemed to get bored. National exams are probably not the most exciting thing a critter with wings could observe. But for somebody proctoring the exam, watching a cockatoo was pretty exciting 😉
Overall, not my most glamorous week in ministry, however I know it is important. Participating in these exams means that our national students can go to university. Going to university in country means the possibility of having Christian leaders in industry, education, and government. And Christian leaders are a part of a thriving church for every people!