Author Archives: Lucky Sibanda

Inspirational video

There are many lesson that can be drawn from this video.

I, as a student, sometimes, feel like the little man in the video as I study. This is what assignments, tests or studies in general tend to be in our educational journey.

Assignments, at times, tend to be ruthless, merciless attacking us from any possible angle. At times I feel helpless (like the little man as he tries to avoid his opponent) ….but hold on, I always strive to emerge victoriously.

However, the video ends happily as the little man emerged victoriously…. this is something which seemed impossible in the beginning… one of the commentators identified the tricks which would help the little men victoriously finish the contest.

This inspirational video helps one to mirror oneself in one’s studies, identifying all the obstacles and advantages within the particular situation. It does not end there as one would also have to look into the possible future challenges and opportunities. This helps one to be prepared all the time and maximise the chance whenever it presents itself.

The ultimate goal is to emerge victoriously – as a student, completing studies should come first as one would only enjoy full benefits attributed to after completion and later practical and gainful application of the knowledge learnt.


Please follow this link on various command listed with their meaning. This helps learners on how to provide sufficient information in any assessments:

Academic Success Factors: Implications for Teaching, Learning and Academic Administration

ABSTRACT: A group of second year students in a university of technology was asked to provide their perceptions of the main factors that contribute to their academic success and or failure. This exploratory study used the survey method to gather data from a convenient sample of the target population, which consisted of second year students offering Financial Management. This study undoubtedly has value because if the success and failure factors are identified and reconciled, students are likely to adjust their behaviour to produce positive outcomes. Beyond this,
it must be acknowledged that entrepreneurship has been considered as one of the ways to boost the economy of any nation. Therefore, finding ways of attracting and retaining students on the program will improve access to entrepreneurship education as well as fast track economic development once graduates are able to add value to their respective communities.

KEYWORDS: Academic Administration, Teaching and Learning, University of Technology, Academic Performance, South Africa

Authors: Lucky Sibanda, Prof. Chux Gervase Iwu and Dr. Olumide Henrie Benedict

Published in: International Journal of Educational Sciences, 10(2): 269-279 (2015) ISSN 0975-1122

Link to the Pdf: Academic Success Factors – Implications for Teaching, Learning and Academic Administration

Factors Influencing Academic Performance of University Students

ABSTRACT: Considering the increasing reports of high student failure rates as well dropout rates worldwide, this study sought to statistically determine what students perceive as the highly influential academic success and or failure factors. The hope was to uncover these factors so as to provide some direction in terms of intervention. A quantitative approach was followed in pursuing this. The population for the study consisted of second year students because they fit the context within which this study defines success and failure. The findings reveal a mix of factors some of which are consistent with previous research on student academic performance. This study derives its uniqueness from the perspective of the significance of the discipline – entrepreneurship, which has been touted as the major economic force that can deliver the necessary socioeconomic development to a country. The results of this study will not only add to the global literature on student academic performance, but will also provide those in management of higher education with the necessary material for intervening in issues of student academic performance. Further research might consider increasing the population size to gain much deeper insights into the perceptions. It may also help to undertake a different research methodology in the form of one-on-one interviews or focus group interviews.

Published in ІSSN 2072-9480. Demography and Social Economy, 2015, № 2 (24)

Link to the Pdf: Factors Influencing Academic Performance of University Students

Putting extra effort

Today I would like to encourage you with the words of Jarod Kintz from his book: “Whenever You’re Gone, I’m Here For You”

I’m not a very good sleeper. But you know what? I’m willing to put in a few extra hours every day to get better. That’s just the kind of hard worker I am.

At times, we are always caught in between making crucial decisions such as on how much time to spend on our studies and so forth. This happens not because we are not good when it comes to time management, but because the 24 hours seems to be not enough to do all the daily chores. But wait a moment, have you realised which activities you often skip on most of the days. I am not sure but to some extent, the time we allocate to our studies gets affected. Let me use a simple example. Have you ever got too busy and decided not to eat because you did not have enough time or have you ever skipped taking a bath due to inadequacy of time? Anyway, I am trying to find something which you cannot live a day without doing. Or, perhaps, let me ask the following question: What do you skip just to squeeze all the important daily activities?

Well, looking at the above, one would realise that the degree of importance one puts towards a particular task has a bearing on whether the task will be skipped or done on daily basis. What about if we try to take an hour from our sleeping time and allocate it towards your studies? Surely, this would definitely mould you into a better person. As you get used, you can increase it with 30 more minutes and so forth.

As we do this, we should motivate ourselves with the fruits of our efforts. What are the possible benefits linked to getting that qualification (pull factors)? Also, what are the costs of not having that qualification (push factors)? Whenever I combine this, I see it pointless to enjoy sleeping as I sleep to rest and prepare my body for the next challenge.

Hope this helps you. How many more minutes are you going to sacrifice towards your studies today, tomorrow or this week? Let me leave you with this challenge.

Workplace Productivity

In all that is done, it is crucial to find the best way of performing a task. Most often, better ways of performing tasks are linked to increased productivity. Finding better ways of performing a task has a positive bearing towards motivation. This is common when there are better ways of performing monotonous repetitive tasks.

As I made efforts to find ways of improving performance whilst working on a computer, I have realised that it crucial to master the use of KEYBOARD SHORT CUTS. Of course, someone fast, when it comes to typing would point out that typing speed is the main factor. However, it is also important to take note of the time that is lost when one MOSTLY uses the mouse to either left or double click instead of using Keyboard Short cuts. Most Keyboards might mean different short cuts.

Here are a few. I decided to group them as below:

CTRL+A = Select all

CTRL+C = Copy the selected

CTRL+V = Paste

CTRL+Y = Re-do the last action

CTRL+Z = Undo the last action


CTRL+B = Bold the selected

CTRL+I = Italicise

CTRL+U = Underline


CTRL+E = Central

CTRL+J = Justify (text alignment)

CTRL+L = Left (text alignment)

CTRL+R = Right (text alignment)

CTRL+F = Find from the document

CTRL+G = Go to a specific page

CTRL+H = Replace

CTRL+N = Create a new document

CTRL+W = Close the window

CTRL+P = Print

CTRL+S = Save

The Keyboard Short Cuts not included above are barely used used such as CTRL+D; CTRL+M etc. With the use of these Short Cuts, the performance of an individual is greatly improved. Time is saved on moving the mouse, left and double clicking.


About 20 years back (Grade 4, in 1995), I am reminded of my primary school days as a little boy at Manjolo Primary School (Binga). There are many lessons which I drew ranging from motivation; working together as a community; determination to achieve objectives and the priceless contribution made by others into our lives.

It is funny to recall how i began the long journey. My mum tricked me by indicating that i will be registered for Grade 1 if i take a bath (it was in Jan 1992) [Expectancy Theory applied in action]. I willingly took a bath and quickly went to bed; woke up early in the morning only to be told i was under age. I took that as a joke as i had to trick her back by crying non-stop till i get registered. The strategy helped me as it saved me – the registrar couldn’t help out as i even failed their entry test (raising one’s hand over the head, touching the shoulder). I was motivated to go to school as it was like that’s where all the other kids are at – nothing like pre-school was there in my village.

I never knew that going to school comes with a price of being early and life long learning starting with vowels; alphabetic letters; and own name. I was not shy to cry all the way to school every morning. Well, my sisters took turns daily, slowly running to school. Late or early, it didn’t make any difference. When left to walk on my own to school, i would clock even at 10am in class.

We used to go to school with plates in plastic bags and come lunch, we knew that our lunch will be freely provided (pap and beans, sometimes nutritious porridge or mahewu). As young kids, we were not shy to carry our plates around and pushing each other in the queue even making a second round. Villagers voluntarily took turns to cook at the school (Singwemu; Sikalenge; Damba; Chibondo; Manjolo; Keelameenda etc). Well, the efforts of our parents were sacrificial though we seemed to take it for granted. Honestly, I was motivated going to school every day though the six hours before lunch seemed to be like a full day.

Prize Giving ceremonies and sports competitions were conducted by the school which made no sense to me – they only translated as a day not to go to school. Not only because I never got any prize but because no one pumped sense into my head about them. I preferred to assist with cultivating in the garden or fields than going to watch others. Up to now, I have not been moved by this, I would rather read a short story than watching a movies (I translate it as helping others make money at the expense of my time).

I can say we had free education. Paying fees of Z$0.50 per term – at one time we had a two dollar note with two of my sisters and got back a Z$0.50 change. Books and pens were given freely. I am not sure if some would not call that free education.

I was motivated when my teacher would scribble a “Good” in any of the exercises – I measured success by the frequency of them in any exercise book (Grade 4). My favourite exercise book had been one with most “Good” remark comments. The most hectic thing was writing “Corrections” for any exercise. This meant that whatever you got wrong, have to be perfect this time around. The teacher seemed to be putting special attention when it comes to “Corrections” – we as learners observed that we were expected to master what we got wrong in the first place (not just copying from a colleague without a good understanding).

I have no words to describe our learning style. One day, as I was coming from the rest room, under a tree was a class with a frustrated lady teacher hitting students shouting “WHAT IS A VERB?” – From that moment, I had to master the definition of a verb. I slowed my pace until I heard her saying – “A VERB IS A DOING WORD” . . . . and she gave some examples.

Sometimes, we had afternoon classes till around 3pm. One day, our teacher taught us on how we should be prepared for uncertainty in life (that’s my own conclusion). Our Mathematics topic was “Multiplication” – a learner was expected to recall the multiples of any numbers from 1 to 12 (luckily, our exercise books had those tables at the back). So it went like this: the teacher set a condition that EVERY learner should recall multiples of any number from 1 to 12, however, the teacher randomly picks one. That was a FAIR play but not easy for every learner. Well, I had no strategy for tackling the challenge. I unfortunately had to master everything. When the student gets ready, they raise a hand and then everyone listens to them. It was one of those days when we went home individually (instead of walking as a group) as everyone could n’t wait longer for the stuck colleagues.

After recalling this, I now understand how privileged we were, not necessarily comparing with others. But, above all, we face many challenges which leverage our forward movement though we take them for granted at times. It takes no cost to to appreciate such positive contributions.

I wonder what a current Grade 4 student at the same school would recall in 20 years time (2035). Surely, that would be a different story.

Continuous Learning


Any piece of knowledge I acquire today has a value at this moment exactly proportional to my skill to deal with it. Tomorrow, when I know more, I recall that piece of knowledge and use it better.

Mark Van Doren (Columbia University)

With the above quote, I hope you will be energised to strive to master at least one concept every time when you study, be it five minutes or less. Learning is a lifetime investment that cannot be taken away from you.

Enjoy the day!!!

Supreme Educators – 2014

Many thanks to “Supreme Educators blog viewers” from South Africa, United States and Philippines for ranking first to the third respectively. I am glad that you found meaning on what i write on. Also, not forgetting the other 60 countries not mentioned.

Click here to see the post which received most views in 2014 – “Becoming a millionaire while others are sleeping – 8 hour versus 5 hour sleep

Service Excellence

What an inspiring scene in the morning at Golden Arrow buses – Cape Town station. After the driver reached his final station, a group of passengers (about 6 – 10 women) requested the driver to step out as they queued and hugged him one by one.

It was a challenge for me as I learnt many lessons in terms of, perhaps, good service rendered by the driver; good relationship between workers and clients; and or milestone achieved. With such relationships, a company is destined for long-term success.

As I took a second thought on it, I was someone tempted to think that this might be a daily thing. The driver is an asset to Golden Arrow bus company.

It is essential to play the role of such a ‘driver’ in whatever business you are working for or anything you are doing.

Work like you are building an empire – long-term relationships pays for the sustainability of the company.