Getting involved in your child’s school life is important for any parent who is committed to raising an all-round child. But some parents find it hard to play this noble role, chiefly because they don’t know how to go about it.
Joyce Umutoniwase, a parent from Kicukiro, a Kigali suburb, says she had a problem with her son, who is now in senior two, because he used to perform poorly in science subjects in his previous school.
She says after they moved him to a new school, he started improving and he is doing much better. Umutoniwase’s concern was how she could get in touch with teachers to find out more about what she could do to support his son in his academics. She only got a chance to do so when it was parents’ visitation day. For her that was not enough as she needed to be updated on anything that called for her help so that her son maintains good grades.
According to education experts, there are many ways parents can get involved in their children’s school activities. The most important requirement, they say, is for the parents to be committed and available for their children.
For example, some schools have overcome this hurdle by having software that link students, parents and teachers. According to schools that have this technology, this saves time for parents as they don’t have to come to school physically, but instead get updates and can make follow-ups on their children using their smart phones.
For instance, at Riviera High School, last year they adopted a system known as ‘Academic Bridge’, which helps update parents about their children’s school activities from wherever they are.
Fred Atinga, the deputy principal-academics at the School, says such software enhances security and safety of the child.
He explains that every student has an account where parents can access the child’s academic assessment and information on their discipline, among others. This, according to Atinga, enables parents to evaluate the school’s commitment to assessment and discipline.