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 Southwest Educational Development


In 2002, a report from the non-profit education research, development and dissemination organisation, A New Wave of Evidence, concluded that when schools engaged families in ways that improved learning and supported parent involvement at home and school, students made greater gains.

When schools build partnerships with families that respond to parent concerns, honour their contributions and share decision-making responsibilities, they are able to sustain connections that are aimed at improving student achievement, says the report.

I have to say this is 100 per cent true from my involvements in my daughters’ school in the last four years.

The parents’ involvement in the school, the relationship between the teachers and the parents as well as the students and the parents, have been a great contributor to the school’s success in building a community feel to its environment.

There are many factors associated with the performance of students, no doubt.

Good quality teachers, effective pedagogical approaches to learning, interesting curricula, an emphasis on critical thinking, student-centred learning styles, regular exercise and a good diet are some of the main factors that have been shown to improve performance.

Schools, policy-makers, parents and students all have a significant interest in improving the quality of education outcomes.

Research, however, says Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) bilingual inspector Rabaa Al Sumaiti, has shown that school-centred approaches tell only half the story.

“Parents also have a major role to play,” she adds.

“Research has demonstrated that good parenting approaches are also associated with improved student performance in academic tests.”

Many would agree that most children have two main types of educators in their lives – their parents and their teachers.

Generally, parents are the primary caregivers and educators until the child attends nursery or starts school and remain a major influence on their children’s learning through school and into higher education.

In many countries, including those in the Gulf, caregivers such as maids and nannies also play a major role in the upbringing of children, especially during the early years.

It is widely recognised that if pupils are to maximise their potential from schooling, they will need the full support of their parents.

“Attempts to enhance parental involvement in education occupy educators across the world. It is anticipated that parents should play a role not only in the promotion of their own child’s achievements, but also more broadly in school improvement and school. Furthermore, students with parents who are involved in their school tend to have fewer likely to complete secondary school than students whose parents are not involved,” says Ms Al Sumaiti.

It is a proven fact that when parents become involved with schools, all children benefit. Adult participation sends the message that school is important and the work children do there is worthy of adult attention. 

And although I do not agree with what most politicians have to say these days, I would have to agree with American politician Jane Hull on this one:  “At the end of the day, the most overwhelming key to a child’s success is the positive involvement of parents.”

Page last updated 31 December 2019
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