Do success cards really lead to success in exams?


Who in their right mind would jinx a child’s success card with an intention of failing them in an exam?

A WhatsApp audio making rounds has distressed the public. ‘Mbu’ there are ill-mannered people bewitching candidates sitting for final exams intent on failing them.

Fingers have been pointed at envious people, family rivalries, ill-mannered step parents, using success cards to pass on ‘juju’ (witchcraft) to sabotage a child from passing exams!

Rev. Brother Godfrey Lutaaya, the headteacher of Mugwanya Preparatory school, Kabojja laughed it off as unfounded superstition and speculation.

As ageless traditions of success cards soar on, with or without them, there is a growing case for motivational enablers to overpower the success card. Others are asking: can't we just ditch them?

Bits of ME

"You are not studying for me but for yourself. Everything you will achieve when you succeed will be in your name and in your possession. I have given you all the support you need to succeed and now the ball is in your court."

These words of my father, to me, as a pupil keep echoing to date.

The-ball-is-in-your-court statement kept my attention throughout my final exams for PLE, UCE, UACE more than any success card could!

Dropping the ‘ball’ the symbol of the empowerment through education, I would imagine the heartache for my parents if ever! That fear kept me alert!

Our children face the same dilemmas amidst their final national examinations as their ‘little minds’ are agitated by the unnecessary tensions brought about by the craving of success cards!

And the obsession to have the most numbers. Those with less cow in despair and at times transport this angst into exams. Oh dear!

Are success cards a destructive device to candidates?

Bits of YOU

Connie Musisi, a career development consultant, says schools should withhold success cards that come through the postage if not ban individual success cards because they deter students from concentrating on reading and revising.

"Instead of reading books, they are reading and revising success cards making them anxious on who has sent and who hasn’t….'my boyfriend sent me or if he doesn’t, I will chuck him!' Look at that fracas in schools?” She wondered.

She said Musisi students who get more success cards raise the air branding themselves rich a disadvantage to the less privileged who are looked at as poor yet there are people who can’t spare a shilling to buy success cards in this present-day ‘economy.

The Director of Studies at St Theresa Namagunga Primary Boarding School, Owor Moses Alew says success cards give courage and confidence to the candidate as a reminder of support to the pupils’ set goals.

But Brother Lutaaya insists they do not play the role even the best-willed originators think they actually play.

“We have not allowed any success cards to our children this time because of the ebola scare. We reminded parents that the previous group of our candidates never received success cards because of the Covid-19 scare but we had one of the most brilliant performances of our time," Brother Lutaaya revealed.

Owor is however critical of the emotional instability among pupils, success cards can evoke as a source of destruction yet they don’t translate into the amount of success.

"A candidate who misses to get a success card wonders whether s/he really has loving parents/guardians but they should know that they must prepare a lot to pass well and the success cards do not count," he advised.

Musisi therefore proposes that schools should withhold the success cards until after exams and hand them to pupils and students to prevent brewing anxiety and confusion in children.

Guide to motivational tools for pupils/students

  • Prayer
  • Periodic motivational talks
  • Career Guidance through inspirational Figures
  • Organizing Meet-up with their idols
  • Tours/Visits to venues of their dream jobs
  • Edutainment programs like People and Power
  • Rewarding gifts, cash, roasters etc

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