A few weeks ago I sat for what I believe was the most difficult Political Science exam I have encountered in my academic journey. I should point out that the unit itself was not difficult-the concepts were relatively easy to understand and we had a great lecturer. What was difficult was getting into the exam room and realizing that I only had a surface level understanding of the said ‘easy concepts’. For instance, these two questions:
African countries need more trade among themselves than foreign aid from outside Africa to overcome their economic and developmental challenges. Discuss
Using the case of a specific past presidential election in Africa suggest ways of improving election monitoring on the continent.
While these questions appear relatively easy to answer I had no more to say than a couple of sentences and nothing worth 20 marks or to put it more succinctly to be a graduate worth making or suggesting policy changes. I figured that all I had been doing in class was the bare minimum-attending, taking notes, asking mediocre questions and hugging boys.
What is amusing is that you will often find me going through twitter with a fine comb bashing politicians for their irrelevant and unschooled opinions, yet quite certainly on this exam day it dawned on me that I have few if any worthwhile solutions to our country’s most pressing problems. I can’t quite explain the disappointment that I felt in myself but I have vowed to give myself another shot as I start my final school year. Last week I picked up Dead Aid
by Dambisa Moyo to start exploring answers to the first question. I hope to report to you my findings soon.
Have a great week ahead!