This article is published as part of the Tchadoblog project: Telling Chad differently. This small project is a collaboration between the young bloggers of the Association des Blogueurs au Tchad and Voice4Thought. To read more, click here.
In student circles in Chad, a practice is developing and becoming more and more established in the hearts of students: it is the practice of 2Kπ. Let’s discover this method.
It is midnight at the National Higher School of Technology, Information and Communication (ENASTIC) in N’Djamena. The courtyard is deserted, the atmosphere amorphous and there are only a few birds populating the site. However, the doors to the rooms seem to be open. This leads us to numerous questions and makes us wonder. In the first room, we discover that the building is not empty at all. Surprise! We observe three young people typing on their computers. In a neighboring room, we see Fissouabe Pascal, a 3rd year telecom student at ENASTIC concentrated in front of his computer. He tells us: “This whole week is dedicated to exams, I cannot go home. I have to stay here at school to keep an eye on things in order to get through them.
What is 2Kπ?
In Chad, 2Kπ is a viral concept, especially amongst students, mostly in the scientific fields. But where does this term come from?
In trigonometry, 2Kπ corresponds to 360°. This describes the contour of a circle. Paralleling this mathematical notion : a day corresponds to a 24-hour cycle, i.e. a complete revolution. It also corresponds to the rotation of a circle, hence the notion of 2Kπ. π is an irrational number; it is the constant ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. Like the trigonometric circle, doing 2Kπ means spending the whole day at school, that is, day and night. It is to go around the whole cycle of the day. It translates the fact of preventing oneself from sleeping, staying awake and working all day. The number 2 and π are therefore constants that could represent sleep. They express the circumference of a circle, which sweeps the circular outline. ‘K’ is a real number that is a function of the number of turns. It represents a variable that expresses work and motivation. So, 2Kπ represents a moment of intensive work.
What does 2Kπ represent for practitioners?
“In my opinion, 2Kπ represents a protocol between the school and me. It is an intercessor. From there, everything is realised in me,” says Bayta Bourkou Elie.
The practice of 2kπ allows students to assimilate courses well in record time, to do research and to be more resilient in self-learning. Most often, this is where students share ideas and work on collaborative projects. “I remember when I should be designing a website. I spent two weeks at home without doing it. But the day I did 2Kπ, a friend gave me a line of code and as a result I was able to get the solution,” says Mba Le Iran Ezéchiel, a cyber security student.
The motives behind the practice of 2kπ are diverse
Firstly, the absence of electricity at home and the remote location of homes push students to indulge in this phenomenon. Secondly, 2Kπ is a way of stimulating and developing collaborative work between students. For some, 2Kπ allows them to get out of the house, isolate themselves in a classroom and find inspiration to work hard. For others, 2Kπ is an opportunity to take advantage of free WIFI to learn and discover new knowledge through the free and available internet connection (this is for instance the case at ENASTIC).
Kohôm Gilles Christ, a graduate in rural engineering at the National Higher School of Public Works (ENSTP) in N’Djamena, still remembers this practice: “It was in 2021 when an urban sanitation exam was scheduled. On that day, the whole class came together after class to do 2Kπ because of the high volume of the study material. Even the only girl in our class was not absent. And when the results were published, no one had to do a retest.”
What is the purpose of 2kπ?
2Kπ allows to reinforce knowledge and to increase the skills of the practitioners. Around me, I see that it allows students to develop a self-training ability and to be self-taught. This practice contributes to increase my performance in order to obtain satisfactory results during exams, tests and practical work.
The practice of 2Kπ truly brings students together, regardless of their socio-economic status; it breaks down barriers and stereotypes that hinder social cohesion and unity. It is true that the practice of 2Kπ is quite important for students. However, it is not without consequences for them.
The disadvantages of 2Kπ
Doing 2Kπ means depriving oneself of sleep. Insomnia is dangerous for the body. Sleep is vital to maintain the functioning capacities of the human body. Once tiredness sets in, the “2Kpiteurs” (name given to 2Kπ practitioners) lie down on chairs or bench tables to recuperate a little before continuing. These young people, in most cases, find it difficult to follow the lessons that will be given the next day. They often develop stress, irritability and heightened sensitivity. Lack of sleep affects their mood and ability to deal with everyday worries.
As a student, it is good to have a rigorous and consistent work schedule to keep up with the coursework and to have some mastery of it. However, the frantic practice of 2Kπ could lead to unfortunate consequences on the body. That is why prevention is better than cure!