It was my son’s first day at school. He came home with his first piece of homework. I took a look at it. The teacher had asked him to write the letters ‘J’ and ‘K’ on each page. She had taught him to write the letter ‘J’ as his class work but not ‘K’. So, at first sight, I was a bit angry as she had not taught him to write the letter ‘K’. It was her responsibility, not mine! After all, we had invested stupendous amounts of money for his schooling. It was a very depressing situation for a mom!
Anyway, I had to help my little darling to complete his homework. That is when I started my duty. Believe me, it took him three full hours to write a page full of ‘J’. I wondered when he could write ‘K’. And what about the remaining letters? It was really rigorous work forcing a play-age child to write for hours. I was at my wit’s end to make him write. Punishing him was not a solution. When I threatened to punish him, he started getting frustrated as well. When I said something mildly, he immediately began his incessant talking. He had hundreds of excuses to escape writing – his belly was aching, he was tired, he was feeling sleepy or he was feeling really hungry, and so and so.
At that very moment I was extremely sorry for his poor teacher who has to pay an equal amount attention towards 30 or 35 kids like my son at the same time. I had a lot of experience in teaching older students in schools and campuses but on that very day I realized the stress of teaching the nursery kids. How can a single teacher handle such restive lots for the whole day?
Then the idea of parental support in children’s education struck me. I realized that the child is mine and if I want my child to perform well, then I also have a role to shape his future. Without parental support they may go astray. Leaving all the responsibilities to teachers is not good anyway.
I have heard many people saying, ‘I have put my child in such a good school, still they are not doing well’. But they do not bother to check how their children are doing. They think their responsibility is finished after putting their children in a good school. Now the school has to do everything to make each and every student the best performer in all aspects.
Other people grumble that they are paying a huge amount of money for their children’s education – but in vain. The children are not outstanding. Some of the lower middle-class people complain about the fact that their children go to public schools where teachers do not teach attentively, so the children are hopeless. Whatever the scenario, the children’s education cannot be completed in the absence of continual parental support. Yes, the teachers can take an initiative in every aspect otherwise why should we send our children to school? There would not have been any need to send them to schools if they could learn all the good values needed to be a good citizen staying at home.
The schools have their own importance where children can learn the lessons of socialization, discipline, sharing and caring, friendship, love and respect. Still, only schools cannot help in children’s overall development; there is a need of parental support during every step.
So, if parents are concerned enough about their children’s education and help them with whatever type of problem they might have, no matter which kind of school their children are attending, every child can do their best.
(Published in an English Daily The Rising Nepal on Wednesday, October 29, 2003)