Zululand Observer - Weekender
Parental involvement key to solving education issues
THE many challenges facing our education system is a result of some parents who distance themselves from becoming intimately involved in the education of their children.
The sooner this attitude changes, the better. This is the opinion of Senior Education Specialist on Governance and Management in the King Cetshwayo District, Hlengiwe Myeza, addressing a school governing bodies (SGBs) workshop on parental involvement in education at Empangeni Preparatory School on Tuesday.
The workshop was aimed at equipping SGB members with insight into key issues surrounding education.
Myeza said there was a need for parents to become more involved in activities of schools their children attend.
‘Parents must have regular discussions with learners about general school matters, assist in the protection of educational resources such as textbooks, as well as the building of healthy, open relations between teachers and learners.
‘Members of SGBs do not seem to realise the powers they have relating to the governance of schools.
‘Today’s school governing bodies govern schools on behalf of the national government, unlike in the past where we had school committees which did not give parents sufficient say in the running of the schools.
‘We look to you as parents to provide a learning environment at home, including adequate space for children to study and cultivate a healthy, open and cooperative relationship with children’s educators,’ she said.
Myeza said the Department of Education was aware of the causes of low parental involvement, which she cited as low literacy levels, job and time pressures, language barriers and single parenthood.
‘Involvement of parents results in the reduction of misconduct cases and children’s behaviour improves.
‘This in turn leads to learners excelling in their academic performance,’ she said.
The workshop was also addressed by Juju Mlungwana of the Education Development Centre.
She painted a disturbing picture of learners who are sexually active, saying parental involvement was needed to educate their children about sexuality.
‘We look to you to intervene in this crisis of high teenage pregnancy and
HIV infections among our learners.
‘We must be open about this topic,’ she said.