Emerging educational issues
The hit song MaU, by the late Paul Matavire, narrates the agony of a parent who cannot come to terms with the child’s failure in school.
The headmaster, Bob Nyabinde, added to the same theme with an Afro-Jazz genre, the song “Chabuda Hapana.”
These are well crafted pieces of art whose message forms the basis of this writing.
It is disheartening to note that some children have committed suicide after enduring victimisation by parents owing to poor results.
But gone are the days when parents would send a child to school and wait for the report card at the end of the term or year.
The fulcrum of this week’s topic is to explore the role of parents in the contemporary education systems.
Bringing to the fore the psychological, social, economic, religious and educational roles of parents will help reduce the victimisation of students due to poor academic performance.
Welcome to the column Emerging educational issues.
This is the place where we communicate issues to do with the challenges in the teaching and learning processes.
Society has transformed, education has and so has the role of today’s parent in education.
Below are suggestions that form the role of today’s parent in the child’s education.
Parents should help children develop positive self-concepts by treating a child as a person of worth with human dignity.
Children cannot consistently act in a manner that is inconsistent with the way they see themselves.
Therefore, parents should be positive so as to build positive self-concept and self esteem in children.
A positive self concept is a necessary ingredient to confidence and a desire to learn.
Children are not our second chance of being born again!
Encourage them, even when they underperform, and build on their abilities.
Negative criticism leads to feelings of inadequacy and anxiety combined with insecurity and frustration, which can result to withdrawal, introversion and aggressiveness, among other negative behaviours.
It is the role of the parents to cultivate and expose the children to the agreed societal norms and values.
Keep in mind that munhu munhu ngeunhu, a child will learn to be a munhu through exposure to unhu.
The do as I say approach works but only temporarily.
Parents are the child’s most important people in their lives.
Much of what the child will do is based on emulating their parents.
Monitor your child’s friends and exposure to specific media.
People around your child can influence their behaviour towards learning or away from education.
Make it a point to ask your child what they covered at school each day.
The point is, our behaviour ought to be in congruence with what we expect of our children.
The economic needs are immediately necessary to the child’s survival as well as their education.
Parents should provide or make sure that food, uniforms and stationary needs are met for learning to take place.
These needs must be met first to assist the child in directing attention in learning.
Provide children with disabilities assistive technologies and innovations that enable them to do the same as the able bodied children.
Parents can provide various facilities such as Information Communication Technologies for educational achievement.
Provide what you can, with what you have, where you are.
The child should have a relationship with the supernatural.
Keeping in mind the multi-cultural nature of our society, it is the parents’ role to ensure that the child receives religious teachings.
Religion instils and reinforces the norms and values the child acquires from school.
Children not only grow in the body but also spiritually.
Perhaps the most challenging role that most parents are currently battling with are home work, Continuous Assessment Learning Activities (CALA) and online learning, among other emerging issues.
Some parents do not even know how to assist the child in CALA issues.
The content is new, the content may be difficult, and many parents did not cover the same content during their primary and secondary education.
The role of the parent is to provide opportunities for research and problem solving.
Guide the child and never do the homework for the child!
All the roles discussed here are equally important, they are interdependent and interconnected such that concentrating on one or a few of the roles will be unfair to our children.
Next week we will focus on the significance of CALA. In the meantime, let Paul Matavire and Bob Nyabinde’s songs inspire us as we guide our children towards achieving their desired educational goals.