Parents must play bigger role in kids’ studies

As soon as the new academic year begins, some people start blaming the Ministry of Education, teachers, schools, curricula and other educational methods for any lacuna related to education.
While all this is happening, neither parents nor guardians bother to reach out to the schools to enquire about the academic progress of their kids, contact teachers or communicate with them on different issues – big or small.
They avoid parents-teachers’ meetings and educational conferences, to which schools invite guardians and parents to brief them about the progress of their wards in academics.
This is how the academic year will end and the result is inevitably not satisfying. This results in huge outrage. The attack on teachers and educational curricula begins. The attack or criticism begins with the targeting of top people in the educational system.
But the fact is, nothing can happen if parents or guardians do not share the responsibility of schools and stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the institutions for a better future and growth of their children.
There are a total of 600,000 students in government schools and more than 100,000 in private institutions. The total number of school kids touches 700,000. On average, there are 600-1,000 students in each school.
In a family, or under the guardianship of a family, there are five or more children, with two or three of them studying in schools. If we compare the ratio of responsibility in numbers, we will find huge discrepancies.
Schools manage around 1,000 students, both male and female, while a teacher supervises 30 students on average in four or five periods every day (each period is of 45 minutes’ duration) along with other extracurricular responsibilities.
Therefore, how can we expect from the ministry, schools and teachers what we cannot expect from ourselves although our responsibility is “less than 1 per cent of responsibility” of schools, teachers and the ministry?
Every school sends out at least a thousand invitations to parents every school, asking them to come and see the performance of their children.
But only 20 of them attend these meetings. Some parents do not even know in what class their children are studying. Despite repeated calls, some of them do not enrol their children in Class I on time.
On the other hand, some guardians and parents pay a huge amount of fees in private schools. They follow every instruction, small or big, and regularly attend parents-teachers’ meetings.
This leads us to conclude that many feel free education means neglect. Facts, however, tell a different tale.
The cost of education in the government schools is higher than that of private schools. However, parents and guardians do not seem to realise. That is because the cost of education in the government schools does not come directly from their pockets.
All parents do not neglect their children’s studies. There are many who understand their roles and responsibilities. Still, there is a very large number that does not closely follow their children’s academic performance.
They leave everything in the hands of the Ministry of Education, schools and teachers. We must realise we have a bigger responsibility of our children than any organisation that we blame for our own failures.
We hope we will hold ourselves accountable for what is happening to our children. We must understand that schools alone do not make a genius or a scientist. Families must take up equal responsibility.

ali.matani2@gmail.com