Role of Parents In The Effective Functioning of A School

Role of Parents In The Effective Functioning of A School


 

DR. SATYA RAMESH | Teacher, Meru International School, Hyderabad

Dr. Satya Ramesh has a Doctorate in Psychology and he has more than 18 years of experience in teaching different disciplines like Mathematics, Science, Psychology, Behavioural Science at University and School levels in various states across India. He currently works in Meru International School, Hyderabad in a leadership position.
 

Every parent who takes admission for their child in a school, irrespective of what kind of school it is, always carries a certain set of expectations. Some of these expectations include:
School infrastructure and facilities
Child’s safety and security
Qualified and experienced faculty members
Co-curricular/extracurricular activities and many more


 
 
Undoubtedly, the fee structure of a school is always directly proportional to the amount of facilities, which a school provides and eventually, it is linked to the degree of expectations from parents. ‘Parents of today have become highly demanding’, is the most commonly heard statement amongst members of a school. Members of the management always strive hard to meet the expectations with no room for dissatisfaction. However, there will always be one or two parents who feel things are not as expected or promised. How do schools deal with such parents? These grievances majorly fall into two categories, academic or administration. If academic, it will de­finitely be related to some aspect of teaching – learning – assessment cycle. If admin, it will be related to some aspect of transport, canteen, etc. Leave aside the latter as these issues are relatively easier to resolve than those concerned with academics. What could be the nature of these issues? Some of them could be related to –
  1. Teacher effectiveness
  2. Disciplinary issues
  3. Irregularity in notebook correction or loss of books and stationery
  4. Differences in the way a subject is being taught by two different teachers in two different sections of the same class
  5. Content quality of resources (handouts, worksheets etc) provided by the school
  6. Lack of optimal use of technology in teaching-learning
  7. Non-performance of the child during assessments
The list is endless, and none can deny the fact that teachers and parents are poles apart and it is always the head of the school who acts as a shock absorber ensuring that the teaching-learning process continues. Do we have a solution to reduce this friction and promote collaboration, which adds immense value to the cause of education? Gone are the days when parents’ interference in the activities of the school was nil and today there is not a single aspect of education where parents do not take interest, and this is where exactly the schools have to focus upon. Some of the plausible solutions could be –
  1. Most of the schools have their School Management Committee (SMC) which includes two parent representatives as members. Schools must bring awareness among parents about the purpose and functions of SMC. Those parents who are enthusiastic must be given an opportunity to nominate themselves and selection of two potential parent representatives could be done through a systematic process with no room for bias from any section of the stakeholders. Once selected, these parent representatives must be actively involved in all major decisions pertaining to school such as hike in school fees, teacher recruitment, etc.
  2. Parents (who are not teachers of the school) who are good at specialised skills such as candle making, vegetable carving, wood craft, origami, etc. must be given an opportunity once in a while to come and train students. It defi­nitely serves the purpose of raising the self-esteem of the parent and also helps school in making optimum use of available human resources.
  3. There is nothing wrong in having a team of parents stepping into the shoes of teachers for a day or two. This will enable them to understand the daily routine of a teacher.
  4. Including a team of parents to be a part of the group of teachers who escort children during ­field trips and excursions.
  5. Involving parents actively in the organisation of school events such as annual day, sports day, etc.
  6. School management must include parents during Teachers’ Day Celebration providing them an opportunity to recognise the efforts of the teachers.
  7. School management must involve parents while preparing the budget for an academic session.
  8. Examination is one area where involvement of parents is not advisable as it is the responsibility of the school to maintain con­fidentiality and preserve its sanctity.
This is not an exhaustive list and schools might come up with many more ways of involving parents and enhancing their role in its effective functioning. It is evident that as long as there is no cohesiveness in the relationship among various stake holders of a school, the blame game continues, and the purpose is defeated.
Despite their busy schedules and routines, no parent would deny an opportunity of signifi­cantly contributing to the growth and development of an educational organisation. It is for the schools to take the fi­rst step thereby making them active partners in the noble cause of education. I am sure that in a place like school where we teach students on how to overcome all barriers (physical and psychological), it should not be dif­ficult to break the mental barrier existing between the parents and the school.
This article was originally published in TheTeacher.in magazine in the month of August, 2019.