Involve parents, please

Involve parents, please

Parent, child and a teacher. Make the system tripolar and see the effect

Right from the day Naeem Akhthar was sworn in as new honorable education minister of J&K, all around there is a buzz that the new man will bring the derailed education system back on the track.

Everyone has started looking forward with a new hope to see the system reshaped. The government schools in general and the teaching community in particular, from the very onset, fall as soft target of criticism. Intellectuals and educationists every day, in order to see the system streamlined, either blame the system or the teachers. Nobody points finger on the parents- an important part to bring any kind of reformation to the system of education. With enormous prestige, let me draw through my write up the attention of the policy makers towards the significant side of the streamlining i.e. the role or the involvement of parents literally termed as parental care.                

Considering education as a tripolar system- all the elements are equally important to see the teacher-learning process flourishing -whether teacher, student or the parents. But unfortunately the system of education in our government schools is only bipolar i.e. the teacher and the pupil is actively participating in the process of education while as the third side is putting in no efforts, resulting in the complete failure of the process. It’s like a tripod stand whose one leg is broken, which obviously can’t hold anything on it. The third leg or involvement of parents at home is one of the important factors which directly influence the affective domain of the students. In all the private institutions, the system of education is the tripolar means all the three factors as required are enthusiastically playing their role and that’s why they escalate in shaping toppers and distinction holders every year in board results. In the government run schools it is not so. Here everything is thrust on the shoulders of the teacher. However efforts the policy makers can put in, unless the system is made tripolar, it can’t be streamlined or reformed. Parents and the family environment can play a pivotal rule in shaping the personality of the child.

          A child remains in the alma mater from ten to four spending most of the time with his parents at home which some educational thinkers believe is the child’s first school. In fact a great educationist, thinker and philosopher Rabindranath Tagore received his early education at home. Before being shaped by his teachers, a child’s emotions and instincts are well understood by his sensitive parents. But in the government schools the system is limping from the very infancy. Here only the unequipped teacher is held responsible for everything. The parents of the children studying in these schools get their wards admitted in these institutions for only one reason and that is everything here is provided in gratis.

Researches have proved that every successful child has enthusiastic and dreaming parents behind him or her. Take for example Tral’s Ineeka Shabir who recently topped 10th class board results.

She credited her success either to her parents or to her teachers which according to educationists are the two important factors to help a child reach at the top rung of the success-ladder. But gosh, in government schools this success vehicle is hobbling only on two wheels i.e. Teacher and Pupil! Most often we have seen private institutions outshining government schools not because a different syllabus is taught by extraordinary teachers but because the parents put in their reasonable support to the faculty in getting their child’s personality chiseled.    

Private school parents have dreams which they want to be fulfilled through their children. They visit their child’s school once or twice in a month to check the performance of their ward while as in an institution like government; school authority has to do everything.

A private school student is neat and tidy besides good at studies because his parents take due pains at home. Unlike all this, a government school child’s uniform is not even properly washed, his home work is never complete and that’s why his performance in the tests worsens day by day. A government school teacher is not a barber or washer-man that he will cut his hair or wash his uniform in the school. Agreed, parents are poor but can’t they wash their uniforms, make them stick to books at home and spend some time with their children so that they are prepared to the cut-throat competitive world.            

My own experience as a teacher from two decades now has brought me to the conclusion me that government school parents are careless towards their children’s studies. These parents do not even bother to visit the school when invited on parents’ meet. However, they visit the school if their child hadn’t eaten the midday meals full-belly-either when some scholarship or free distribution of uniform or books is going on. It has been seen that the children in government schools who excel in their studies have enthusiastic support of their parents behind them but the percentage of such parents is unluckily very less. Educationists opine that the system won’t be reformed unless parents put in their role and take pains in their wards’ studies at home above all, charity begins at home.

Last month when Village Education Committees (VECs) were constituted in schools, teaching community, in the government schools across Kashmir, saw a ray of hope in getting the system streamlined but now it seems that these committees are probably constituted as a run of the mill. These VECs, apart from monitoring the whole functioning of the schools, should come forward to involve parents of the children in the process of education so that the system works smoothly.

How come the government school children can excel in board results when the system is merely bipolar? These children even do not go for any tuition during winter months. Their parents indulge them in domestic chores resulting in their failure in the exams. The education ministry should neither blame the teachers nor these children but should put in bulk of efforts to involve parents whose children study in these government schools to streamline the education system ‘tripolarly’. 

(Manzoor Akash teaches English, hails from zone Dangiwacha, Rafiabad)

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