Changing performance outcomes
When schools open across the country each school year the focus for many is on purchasing items to go back to class. Ensuring children are properly dressed and have the hardware necessary for learning is an important part of parenting. However, nice bags, pens and pencils, and shirts and pants are not enough to prepare young people for the job market and to be reasonable citizens in our society.
Our students have not been doing well in national exams for years. The poor results don’t even shock us anymore. The average grade hovers around a D in the Bahamas General Certificate of Secondary Education (BGCSE) exams. A graduation rate of 50 percent in our public schools indicates that we are losing many of our next generation too young.
For children to succeed, parents, guardians and family members must take active roles in their education. Parents must set standards of acceptable behavior, both physically and academically, so their children know there is an aspiration for them greater than mediocrity and failure.
Too many parents just send their children to school and hope the school teaches them something. They don’t know the names of the people who teach their children; they don’t know what their children are studying; they don’t know the names of their children’s friends. Such indifference usually leads to failure.
For all those parents who spent hours in malls and shopping centers buying the world to make their children look cool or pretty, you should take up a new posture this new year. Commit to being interested in the academic and intellectual advancement of your children.
Along with setting high standards for achievement and behavior, ask questions about what your child is learning; encourage him or her to study; go to Parent Teacher Association (PTA) meetings; meet the people who teach your child; help your child with homework.
When children know parents care and have standards they ensure are met, those children do better. Slack parents, through neglect, help create the next generation of deviants and criminals.
For those who have neglected their children when it comes to education, tomorrow is always the day for the turnaround. You can do better by simply pushing yourselves to get involved. The school exists to help you. You, the parent, must lead the way to ensure that your child becomes a self-motivated and productive member of our society.