Why parents should play an active role in their children’s education.

“Education is the process of nurturing and instilling values, knowledge and critical thinking into individuals. Without the right education, our children are lost and so is their future.”

I am not a parent but I take up parenting responsibilities. Not because I must, but because I want to. I have three wonderful nieces and a nephew. I offer parenting care from time to time; both virtually and in-person, depending on my circumstances. It is a fulfilling task, knowing that if I do it right, they will have a head start at being better people in society. I consider parenting the act of being there for them: knowing their experiences, understanding their way of thinking and outlook on life, and most importantly their education as a critical piece of it.

Yesterday, I had a call with my sister and during the call, I became a consultant as my niece was on with her assignments and I could feel the enthusiasm in her voice as she explained the concepts they were taught in school. During the conversation, we had a back and forth on how to teach her number series (what we referred to as the times table during our time). The mother’s challenge was identifying a language that would make her understand the concept. On the other hand, having been a struggle, the alternative solution was to let the teacher take it up, which brought me to the recent discourse where teachers were pushing back for parents to actively get involved in the education of their children and adopting a passive approach to teaching. We cannot be passive with the education of our children unless we have given up the hope for a better future. We need to be actively engaged, and the cost of this is even higher for parents as they will be there to see their failure. I am not saying that teachers should be passive on their end, but in a system where systemic shortfalls exist, ranging from a shortage of teachers, inadequate infrastructure, and supply of educational materials, the teachers can only do so much. We need to support them in nurturing our children, and as they do we also have to be actively involved in their education.

My niece calls at least twice a week to let me know about the work she did at school and the best part of it is knowing that the teacher marked her assignments and she got all the questions right. With this, she has the motivation to do it again the following day. That is a learning culture being cultivated in her and if it persists she will be self-driven and committed to excellence. That is a win for the parent and the society at large. With regard to the language concerns in educating our children, seeing as they take most of the guidance from school, it means that if we approach it based on how it was done in the past we shall confuse them even more. In order to win them over and help them, we have to play the student, letting them explain how they understand the concept based on what the teacher taught. This goes a long way in preventing the provision of conflicting instructions, thus making it easier.

“In educating our children we have to be hands-on. We have to be involved and that’s how we nurture a better generation.”

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