Tools of academic giants: home study tips

There are several tools for winning students. However, the following seven tools stand out for me. If you have ever been to Munteme, you

There are several tools for winning students. However, the following seven tools stand out for me.

If you have ever been to Munteme, you know two hills define the village narrative. On the left, is Munteme Fatima College (MUFACO). On the right, is Munteme Technical (TECO).

You have a choice of which hill to take.

During our time, around the late 1980s and early 1990s, Munteme Technical School, one of the leading vocational institutions in Hoima, and Uganda as a whole was a career game-changer.  Anyone who graduated from TECO succeeded. Students had options of taking mechanics, carpentry, masonry to mention but three. Also, successful finalists received a free start-up kit containing all the tools one needs to run a successful workshop to leverage from their technical skills acquired. Graduates usually covered the costs of the kit within a year of graduation. This was a practical and successful model.

On the other hand, MUFACO students never made it past senior four. Many of them never succeeded. We all wanted to go to TECO. I tried my luck at TECO but failed the interviews (to read the story, search on this site “mufaco”). I had no option, but to cross to MUFACO. Thank God I made the right decision.

While at MUFACO in senior two, three brilliant seminarians from Hoima Seminary came to teach us during their senior six vacations. Later, these Seminarians were announced as top candidates at UACE national exams in their year. For just a short time (within two months only), we learned a lot from these students than we had learned the entire year.

They taught us seven tools of academic giants which I am going to share with you today:

Tool 1: Mind maps.

A mind map displays information visually and makes it easy for students and learners to remember key points. For effective results, the main subject of the mind map is always located at the center. From there, related ideas and key points worth noting are written branching out in all directions.

Image source: the Internet.

To find a free tool for mind map, visit here. You will also find a great explanation about mind maps. I encourage you to read the whole article to gain a complete understanding of the power of the mind map. After reading, attempt the following exercise.

  • Using a mind map diagram, examine the impact of #covid19 on the Ugandan economy.
  • Select any topic in History, summary it on a mind map.

For interactive discussion and guidance to make the most of the mind mapping tool, visit and join. I shall be able to help you improve.

In the next post, I will share Tool 2. You cannot afford to miss it. If you study, understand and apply all these tools, your child and you shall become an academic giant and a winner.

Remember it is ok for your child to be average or the top in class. The red flag is if your child scores in the last percentile or less than 40% in the subject. These tools shall help your child improve his or her score to beyond average – to at least 67% and more. That is the minimum score you need your child to attain to progress and thrive.  Remember, it does not matter the position in the class. What matters is the average score per subject.

Do not miss the next Tool 2.

Copyright Mustapha B Mugisa, 2020.

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