The importance of parental involvement in children’s education was recently emphasized when the Ministry of Education held a town-hall meeting at the Bartica Secondary School-in Region Seven Cuyuni-Mazaruni.
The parents of the lively town dubbed the gateway to the interior, came in numbers and listened attentively as National Parent Teacher Association Coordinator, Ms. Nadia Hollingsworth, implored them to play a more active role in their children’s education.
The Coordinator said she was not at all suggesting that it is all parents who are ‘not stepping up adequately to the plate’. But rather, the former Queens College Deputy Headmistress said some parents can do much more.
She said it is for those observations that through her department the Ministry has come to the region to lend support and guidance to foster greater collaboration between the parents, the school and the Ministry.
“We at the Ministry recognize that no one group can do this alone,” said Hollingsworth. She shared her certainty that if the three parties’ education process works collaboratively, more can be achieved.
“We are all in this together, it is not we and them, it is us. Without parents there would have been no children to teach,” she asserted. The former teacher said the school is as strong as the parental support it receives, and in this regard she reminded those gathered to understand their responsibilities and be receptive to sharing them.
The coordinator noted that she was not “having a go at parents,” however it is important that all concerned be candid about the current state of affairs.
“Do not allow your children to be the victims of your circumstances, not because you are not familiar with a particular subject matter the child presents to you means you cannot assist.”
Hollingsworth encouraged parents to approach the schools for assistance so that they can in turn assist the child at home. It is in this context that she advised teachers to facilitate this process and implore them to foster good relationship with parents.
“Teachers look past the issues and help that child to succeed,” she said.
Hollingsworth believes teachers should endeavour to be different and go the extra mile to assist the nation’s youths.
Added to that, she said that it is fallacious to believe that good performing children only come from ‘top rated’ schools. Rather, she has seen children from other schools perform outstandingly, and it is parental involvement which is a vital ingredient for a successful outcome.
Also addressing the meeting was Assistant Regional Executive Officer [REXO] for Region Seven Ms. Stephie Allen. Allen said parents should not allow their children to merely sail along at school but rather, “engage them to know what is going on at school.”
The Assistant REXO said there is much to be achieved should all parents adopt a more robust approach towards their children’s education.
Meanwhile, Ms. Ena Hernandes, a paren,t said many times it’s only the teacher and the child. She charged some parents ‘to stand up and be counted’. On the other hand the parent was in praise for those parents who she surmised are going the extra mile to assist their children and their school.
Tirani Gahill, a teacher, in her contribution to the meeting, said she is concerned about the smartphones some children carry. Gahill said they are becoming a hindrance to the learning process. Towards this end, she called on parents to better supervise the use of these devices.
In the past months the Ministry has been holding town-hall meetings across the 11 education districts explaining the importance of parental involvement in education and the critical role parents are expected to play in this initiative.