Wed | Nov 25, 2020

Althea Morgan-Clair | Parents and a cry for partnership

Published:Wednesday | August 7, 2019 | 12:00 AM
Althea Morgan-Clair
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Educational institutions are built on partnerships and parents are the cornerstones of this pact. Without the support of parents, schools, colleges and universities would not exist, as it is the decision to enrol one’s child that will determine the longevity of these institutions.

It is for this reason that parents must endeavour to play an active role in their child’s school life in order to strengthen the partnership with the respective institutions. I laud parents who have been actively involved in this area of their child’s life, as I am confident that you are reaping the benefits, and so are the children and the schools.

I have witnessed the dispassionate support of parents seep into every ­crevice of children’s school life, ­causing academic performance and self-­esteem to plummet. This is never good for the students, the school or society, so I implore parents and guardians to become active participants in the educational life of your children through a devoted partnership with teachers, administrators, and your child’s peers. These are the same students who are likely to become society’s nuisance, perpetrators of criminality or battered individuals/parents struggling to survive because they lack the requisite skill sets to survive in today’s fast-paced world.

I have seen students, without parental support, struggle to stay afloat and manage to achieve acceptable academic performance, while others are simply carefree because of the absence of parental guidance. “Children are a heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.” (Psalm 127:3).

GET INVOLVED

There are myriad ways in which you can collaborate with your child’s school to avert or reverse the growing trend of school dropouts and unprepared school leavers flowing into society to join the ranks of the uneducated, unemployed and incompetent. Partnership is more than just sending students to school daily so start by attending important meetings/functions that are geared towards your child’s education and well-being. When you are asked to attend various functions such as report day, PTA meetings, among others, follow the protocol and request the time off from work to attend. Sometimes these are the only opportunities that parents get to interact with the various academic staff and administrative personnel about students’ behaviour, attitude, aptitude and performance.

There are students whose academic performance is unacceptable and it is not because they can’t do better but they have been haemorrhaging from the dearth of parent involvement which has affected their academic interest and performance, among other things.

Another way in which parents can partner with educational institutions is by speaking positively to children. There are students who portray undesirable behaviour which ends up affecting their academic performance and overall well-being. Some of these students who demonstrate this kind of behaviour do so because of various issues, including abusive or otherwise hurtful words, that stem from their home or community.

In closing, I must reiterate the need to partner with your child’s school in order to help propel them to ­academic excellence and to later become ­valuable members of ­society. Invest in your child’s education through ­partnerships. Remember, the most valuable thing you can give your child is your time.

Althea Morgan-Clair is a teacher. Email feedback to columns@gleanerjm.com and preacheralthea@gmail.com.