Parental involvement key to academic excellence by
Every parent expects nothing less than academic excellence from their school-going child. A child who excels in his studies brings joy and pride to his parents and community, and becomes the envy of all because he is likely to have a bright future. But for a child to do well consistently in his studies, he requires the support of not only teachers and peers, but also those at home.
While teachers teach, parents and guardians need to play an active role in their children’s education if they want to see them excelling in their academic journey.
A seamless relationship between parents and teachers can help improve academic excellence and good results.
This was recently said by Janet Mogotwe, deputy school head teacher at Obega Junior Secondary School in Mankgodi Village at a JC results consultative meeting, following the dismal performance by the school in the 2016 JC examinations. Tempers flared when some aggrieved parents brought complaints to the school, but the school management lamented that some parents rarely come to the school. Management said parents should form a solid relationship with teachers to work together to ensure that their children do well. “When parents come to the school regularly and attend meetings, they will better understand the challenges we face and help us address them. They will also better appreciate why we do things the way we do,” she said.
In the traditional way of doing things, parents relied solely on the teachers to take care of their children and ensured their success. But parents now need to be “hands on” and help children deal with not only academic challenges, but with peer pressure, drug abuse, premature sexual engagement and abuse, all of which have a negative impact on a child’s educational process. Over the years, experts in education and psychology, have noted that it is important for parents to be involved in their children’s education and in other related school activities. This could take the form of communications and partnerships between schools and parents. It cannot be over-emphasised that parents have an over-arching influence on their children as they understand their personalities.
Parents have been urged to attend PTA meetings and to visit the school often, to meet teachers on an individual basis as well as have discussions on the challenges their children face and how the situation can be improved. The involvement of parents extends to monitoring their children’s performance and assisting with homework and providing resources like books and the Internet where possible.
Lack of involvement in education is most noted in rural areas, where traditional notions of leaving education and classroom matters soley to teachers still prevails. Some parents do not feel compelled to be active in their children’s education because of their own lack of knowledge or the living arrangement, where parents are away working or at cattle posts or on farms.
A research paper compiled by education researchers, Magdeline Mannathoko and Boitumelo Mangope in 2012, indicates that although it has been confirmed that parental involvement is key, very little has been done to identify barriers to their involvement in children’s academic work and devise possible solutions to address the challenge.
The qualitive case study established significant differences in the responses of parents, teachers and other community leaders. Parents in remote areas reportedly revealed that they were not aware they were expected to offer support to children at home or assist with homework. Meanwhile, teachers complained that parents were not cooperative and did not seem interested in their children’s schoolwork. Parents did not even attend meetings relating to unpaid school fees or a learner’s unruly behaviour.