Read the following summary passage and carefully study the examiner’s comments, as well as useful model attempts on how to write correct and acceptable answers.
Poverty! Can anyone who has not been poor know what poverty is? I really doubt it. How Can anyone enjoy three square meals? Indeed, can someone who has two full meals a day claim to know poverty? Perhaps, one begins to grasp the real meaning of poverty when one struggles really hard to have one miserable meal in twenty-four hours. Poverty and hunger are cousins, the former always dragging along the latter whenever he chooses to go.
If you are wearing a suit or complete traditional attire, and you look naturally rotund in your apparel, you cannot understand what poverty entails. No, can you have a true feeling of poverty if you have some good shirts and pairs of trousers, never mind that all these are casual wear indeed if you can change from one dress to another, and these are all you can boast of, you are not poor. A person begins to have a true feel of what poverty means when, apart from the tattered clothes on his body, he doesn’t have any other, not even a calico sheet to keep away the cold at night.
Let us face it, how can anyone who has never slept outside, in the open appreciate the full, harsh impact of homelessness? Yet that is what real, naked poverty is. He who can lay claim to a house, however humble, cannot claim to be poor. The real poor man has no roof over his head, and this is why you find him under a bridge, in a tent, or simply in the vast open air.
But that is hardly all. The poor man faces the world as a hopeless underdog in every bargain, every discussion, every event involving him and others. The poor man is consistently reminded of his failure in life. Nobody listens attentively when he makes a point, nobody accepts that his opinion merits consideration so, in most cases, he learned to accept that he has neither wisdom nor opinion.
The pauper’s lot naturally rubs off on his child who is subject not only to the hunger of the body but also of the mind. The pauper lacks the resources to send his child to school. And even in communities where education is free, the pauper’s child still faces an uphill task because the hunger of the body impedes the proper nourishment of the mind. Denied access to modern communication media, the poor child has very little opportunity to understand the concept taught him. His mind is a rocky soil on which the teacher’s seeds cannot easily germinate. Thus embattled at home and school, the pauper’s child soon has very little option but to drop out of the school.
That is still not all. Weakened by hunger, embattled by cold and exposure to the elements, and feeding on poor water and poor food, the pauper is an easy target for diseases. This is precisely why the poorest countries have the shortest life expectancies while the longest life expectancies are recorded among the richest countries. Poverty is really a disease that shortens life. WAEC May/June 2000
In six sentences, one for each, summarise the problems of the poor man.
Examiner’s Comments and Model Answers to the Questions Above
- The first main idea to the question above is traced to the fifth sentence of the first paragraph which says: ‘Perhaps one begins to grasp the real meaning of poverty when one struggles really hard to have one miserable meal in twenty-four hours. Below is a model answer.
i. The poor man finds it difficult to get his food.
- The second main idea is traced to the last sentence of the second paragraph which says: ‘A person begins to have a true feel of what poverty means when, apart from the tattered clothes on his body, he doesn’t have any other, not even a calico sheet to keep away the cold at night’. Below is a model answer.
ii. The poor man has no clothes to wear.
- The third main idea is traced to the last sentence of the third paragraph which says: ‘The real poor man has no roof over his head…’. Below is the model answer.
iii. The poor man has hardly any house to live in.
The poor man is homeless.
- The next main idea is traced to the last sentence of the fourth paragraph which says: ‘Nobody listened attentively when he makes a point; nobody accepts that his opinion merits consideration…’. Below is the model answer.
iv. The poor man is not recognized in society.
The poor man is not respected in society.
The poor man’s opinion is not honored in society.
- The next main idea is traced to the second sentence of the fifth paragraph which says: ‘The pauper lacks the resources to send his child to school’. This is the model answer.
v. The poor man cannot give his child a sound education.
The poor man can hardly send his child to school.
- The next main idea is traced to the first sentence as in ‘…and poor food, the pauper is an easy target for the diseases’ and the last sentence of the last paragraph as in: ‘Poverty is really a disease that shortens life. Below is the model answer.
vi. The poor man is subjected to diseases.
The poor man lives a short-life span.
Now, the six sentences required by the examiner have been given.
Read the passage below and answer the questions on it.
Every child, whether he comes to his family by birth or adoption, discovers what a family is through the experiences of family life. The newborn infant has no way of knowing which of the many faces that hover above him belongs to a parent. He has no way of knowing what a parent is. He only knows that he is comfortable or uncomfortable, hungry or satisfied.
Gradually, as the months go by, he begins to know who brings comfort when he is uncomfortable and food when he is hungry. He comes to know the feeling of the arm that holds him close when he eats and holds him safe in his bath. He knows the voice that soothes him and sings to him. He grows to know who responds to his needs when he cries out. This is the special person in the whole strange new world who belongs especially to him. This is the first recognition of a parent.
The mother and father who care for a child, who listen to his voice and try to interpret what he means, who comforts him, feed him, and play with him discover for the first time what it is to be parents. They do not become parents by conception and birth alone. They grow to be parents just as the infant grows to recognize them as such. They come to know the developing personality of their child in a way that no other person really can. They recognize whether he is a lusty eater or a nibbler; vivacious or reserved; adventurous or cautious. By observing his intellectual and physical abilities, they also get to know what he may become in the future. They are concerned with meeting his needs and wants and fostering his growth to maturity.
Sometimes because of their responsibility to their child, parents have to do unpleasant things. They have, for instance, to take him for injections. He can have no choice about taking medicine when he is ill. He must learn quickly and not necessarily at his own pace that fire is not a ply-thing. In the intimacies of daily living, the child and the parents learn the bitter and the sweet of family relations. It is through the experiences of family life that a child and his parents grow to be family. For every parent, biological or adoptive, it is the daily loving care of the child and his responsiveness that build up the parents’ feelings. For every child, it is being loved and cared for that produces family closeness.
- In one sentence, state how the newborn infant perceives his environment.
- In one sentence, say what an infant first learns about his parents.
- In two sentences, say what parents learn about their children as they grow up.
- In one sentence, summarise what a responsible parent often has to do in the interest of the child. WAEC May/June 1997