It is the beginning of a New Year and decade. Education, in terms of quality and relevance is becoming more dynamic and high investment-driven. Children’s education now requires planned strategy which must be implemented with a goal in mind. It has gone beyond the name and the school your child/ward is attending.
Many great brands (schools) are losing their old flavour while few continue to grow stronger. As a parent, there is a need for background checks and value alignment to be sure your child/ward will get real value for money. It is not just about the academic or social engagement but more about the capacity of the school to build well-rounded individuals who are ready and prepared for tomorrow’s market
In this New Year and decade, parents must take active interest in their children. It might be worth asking the following questions:
1. Are you happy when your child comes home as the ‘first’ in the class with average grades of Bs and a couple of As?
2. Have you compared your child’s personal potential against your child’s inherent ability instead of comparing him with pupils with low intelligence s/he is presently studying with?
3. Have you asked if s/he could do more, score higher marks and develop other talents or further engage in extra-curricula activities?
4. If s/he is placed in a different school or environment where the IQ of others are higher or like his/her own? Would s/he stand out?
5. In case your child is not doing well at all after such huge investments of fees, has any of the parents considered finding out the cause(s) for this?
6. Is there possibly a way parents are also contributing to this?
7. There are known cases of parent forcing the child to study subjects s/he is not good at. Beyond the school’s counsellor, have you considered investing in helping the child to speak with a professional education consultant or counsellor who are equipped to do this efficiently unlike what the child can get within the school system?
8. Have you also considered if the present environment/school has some factors hindering the ability of your child? Factors such as teachers’ attitude, bullying, hidden harassment your wards and others you child/ward cannot or have not shared because you have been busy?
Undoubtedly, the challenges of this new decade are different from the past hence what can you do to help your child maximize his/her potentials?
1. There is the need to be a lot more strategic. Beyond spending large sums of money for fees, it is important to invest a lot of thinking and planning on how your ‘average’ learner can excel in this age. It might be required that you sit down as family and have quality conversations that can lead to success-oriented actions. Each stakeholder’s (learner, parent, teacher etc) role and involvement must be defined.
2. Have or maintain a good relationship with the school. Get to know the values of the school, quality of service, quality of human resources, their investment and perspective about building a total child instead of over concentrating on academic or social activities.
3. Have quality relationship with your child’s direct handlers. This includes class teachers, house master and mistress (for boarders), school counsellors etc. Know what their outlooks to life is. Be sure they are not influencing your child negatively. These individuals hold a lot of influence on the school pupils.
4. Be interested in who your child relates with or call friends. You really do not have to command them on this. Most teenagers will deliberately rebel but guide them with wisdom and knowledge.
5. Will there be a need for a change of school or environment in the next session? Many schools just resumed for the second term. Will there be a need to move your child to a new school – home or abroad? Who will you be speaking to for quality advice? For those who will be moving to universities and colleges, have you considered which one is suitable for your child? Do you need guidance? Who will and should you be speaking to now? Think strategically between now and the next six months.
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