PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT IN CHILD EDUCATION 7
ParentalInvolvement in Child Education
Manyparents suppose that their children’s education is the exclusiveaccountability of learning institutions. Numerous aspects are linkedwith enhanced student performance. These include competent teachers,efficient pedagogical strategies to learning and interestingsyllabus. However, in the recent years, research has alsodemonstrated parental involvement in their children’s education asa very important aspect. Over the generations, parental involvementin the UAE has demonstrated considerable changes. As more parentsleave the responsibility of taking care of their children to househelps and private tutors, parental involvement has been minimal.
ParentalInvolvement in School
Parentinvolvement includes parents’ conduct in home and school frameworkintended at supporting their children’s educational development(Nokali, Bachman & Drzal, 2010). Determinants of this involvemententail the eminence and regularity of communication with instructors,in addition to taking part in school meetings and actions (Nokali,Bachman & Drzal, 2010). Parental involvement as well symbolizesparents’ value and viewpoint in reference to education and theambitions they have for the children. Value and viewpoint might notdirectly affect academic results. However, they might improveacademic accomplishment in some way via enhancing children’sinspiration and determination in demanding learning tasks (Nokali,Bachman & Drzal, 2010). Educational excellence is largelyaffected by parents’ major expectations and at-home engagement inliteracy actions. In studies conducted in UAE regions, findingsdemonstrate a need for enhanced parent involvement in childreneducation (7Days,2014). Parents are spending lesser time with their childrencontrasted to when the parents were growing up. Averagely, parentsspend only fifty minutes together with children on a usual workingday (7Days,2014). In the UAE, the change plan for enhancing schools is largelyvoiced. Amid the numerous complementary change plans is parentinvolvement. The argument is that parents play a crucial function intheir children’s schooling (Hourani, Stringer & Baker, 2012).
Theinterview session is prepared by identifying and informing the targetparent about the interview in advance. This ensures that they availtime to respond to interview questions. The child is identified froma learning institution and the interview conducted while at school.Both interviewees are engaged in a discussion where the questions areasked and responses written down. An interactive approach is chosento ensure that as much feedback as possible is obtained from theparent and child.
Thesimilarity is that in both generations, parents engage strictly withtheir children by setting high academic standards. Children were andare expected to perform excellently and parents engage with thechildren in discussing their academic performance. In the UAE, aparents’ notion of an ideal child links to traditional rules inIslamic tradition, among them excellent academic performance. Ingeneral, parental involvement entails being strict, due to the beliefthat parents should be authoritarian to ensure a higher controllevel. As a result, children learn the value of disciplines andsocial command (Alsheik, Parameswaran & Elhoweris, 2010).
Differencesare that, although the parent’s response depicts that their parentsrarely read books to them, they were more involved in their learningand upbringing. During the generation, parents often kept in touchwith teachers concerning academic performance, attended schoolmeetings and activities. At home, the parents were also present mostof the time and played a huge role in their upbringing. Contrary,according to the child, the parent does read a book, but rarely getsto finish reading the book. The child notes that there is minimaltime spent between her and the parents. The parents do talk withschoolteachers but on matters relating to transport and textbooks andnot learning. Notably, they attend meetings and activities sparinglydue to lack of time.
Currently,parents face numerous distractions in their everyday lives. They areheld up with their jobs, allies, internet and social networks. Thus,parents in most homes are rarely involved in the upbringing andlearning of their children (Almazroui, 2014). Research also depictsoverdependence on house helps and private tutors to teach and takecare of children. For instance, in Dubai 94% of Emirati parentsemploys nannies to raise their children (Absal, 2012). They alsodepend on house helps to assist their children in completingschoolwork. Another trend is the substitution of parental involvementwith tutoring. Private tutoring is widespread as 51% of learners areenrolled in out of school tutoring (Absal, 2012).
UAEis highly multicultural, and a majority of the house helps and tutorsemployed are from different cultures as the children they teach andup bring (Absal, 2012). The mere positive advantage of the changes isthat children get to learn different cultures. Children also becomeintellectually independent. Features of the changes are negative asparents get to spend less time with their children. Thus, thechildren face poor development due to the mix and clash of cultures.Lack of time due to work, means parents places their work as moreimportant to their children’s needs.
Parentsexperience uneasiness when their culture differs from that ofinstructors. Hence, opting not to communicate with teachers or attendmeetings. Another major challenge is lack of time due to work.Parents are unable to attend school activities at daytime.Additionally, the parents only get free time in the evenings and mayopt to spend time as a family instead of directly engaging in theirchild’s learning (Greenberg, 1989). Challenges for children arethat spending more time with house helps and tutors harms theirbehavior and intellectual development. Most tutors are non-Arabicspeaking making it difficult for children that do not speak Englishto understand what is taught. Additionally, the tutors are weak inEnglish, weakening the children’s learning of the language (Absal,2012).
Challengesfacing UAE education is that on an international level, the systemlags behind. More and more students opt to further their studiesabroad. In addition, as an Arabic speaking nation, incorporation ofEnglish in the syllabus means students lag behind in languageacquisition. The challenges link to lack of parent involvement inlearning. The problem arises from UAE school programs that offerminimal opportunities for parent involvement. Their involvement islimited to arranging social events. In most schools, interaction amidthe teacher and parent is during rare parent-teacher interviews(Ahmed, 2012). Consequences for the UAE, is that their students’progress to lag behind intellectually compared to those from othernations. The government is overburdened by having to hire moreteachers, as parents believe it is the role of schools to teach theirchildren. It also creates a generation of children that face numerousbehavioral problems, and that are unaware of their culturalexpectations.
Therole of the school includes educating children. Schools follow setcurricula in instilling knowhow. It also involves parents inrealizing the relevance of their involvement in their children’sdevelopment. Children have two kinds of educators, parents andinstructors. Parents are the basic caregiver and instructor prior tochildren beginning school. In order for children to maximize theircapability in school, they need parental assistance (Al Sumaiti,2012). Students whose parents are involved in learning have lesserbehavior challenges and better academic excellence. They are moreprobable to complete school contrasted to children whose parents areuninvolved (Al Sumaiti, 2012).
Mostparents acknowledge their lack of involvement to busy workingschedules. It is mandatory for the parents to work to cater forfamily needs and lifestyles. Schools can find other manners ofinvolving parents like sending text messages regarding theirchildren’s performance to keep them updated. Another recommendationis expanding school activities from social events, to more involvingactivities like school governance, voluntary sessions in schoolclasses. Regular communication between schools and parents will aswell endorse parents to engage actively in their children’slearning.
7Days.(2014 Feb. 9). Survey: UAE Expat Parents Spend Less Time with theirChildren, 1-1.
Absal,R. (2012 Feb. 1). Parents Urged to take more Interest in Children’sEducation. Gulfnews.com.Retrieved fromhttp://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/uae/education/parents- urged-to-take-more-interest-in-children-s-education-1.974120
Ahmed,A. (2012 Feb. 1). Educating Children: A Role for Parents. TheNational.Retrieved from http://www.thenational.ae/news/uae-news/educating-children-a-role-for-parents
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