Voices from the ground

ESSENCE - Ligaya Rabago-Visaya (The Freeman) - October 3, 2020 - 12:00am

I am grateful that my husband, a public school teacher, serves as my eyes and ears. This provides me with an overview and account of what is going on, especially at the baseline, at the Department of Education.

Public schools are particularly concerned with the final orientation for parents and home tutors this week in preparation for next week's opening of classes. This is also the time when the modules are circulated by teachers, and so parents flocked to schools.

Standard health and safety standards are followed. Such interesting findings are that there were few students, either accompanying their parents or attending for themselves. And the typical response when asked where their parents were is that their parents are working. And because these students are minors, allowing them to do so would violate the guidelines provided by the health authorities.

For this reason, parents may be given a valuable reminder to devote some time, or other adults or relatives in the family may do so if parents cannot. Even before COVID, such a perennial issue when parents totally skipped school notifications for parent-teacher conferences.

There were also several parents who had taken to school their very young children. The pandemic places us in a new position that calls for a strong support system without actually blaming anyone. In the teaching-learning process, the role of adult family members as well as in the community is crucial. There are definitely gaps that responsible adults in the family and in the community need to fill in.

It's important to let other family members fulfill their significant roles in filling up those gaps as early as this period. They also have distinctive and significant roles to play in order for education to continue.

Like the purok, the immediate community must be informed of the educational needs of these children in their locality through its representatives. Learning centers must be fully operationalized. I am certain that there are people who, through their experiences, knowledge and skills, are willing to extend their hands, in one way or another, to ease the burden of parents who, due to lack of technical know-how, cannot perform the educational function.

But because children are still at home, the role of parents to remind their children of their needs must be completely activated. This is unprecedented, so parents need to be focused on whether their children review their modules, conduct the tasks, and answer the tests. And because the modular modality is combined with online distance learning by some teachers, children must always be supervised for what they have been exposed to online.

It is important that they must be reminded once again about the essential netiquette or how to function in the virtual world. They need to be vigilant about what, who, and how online activities are dealt with.

Improving parental capacity to support the academic success of their children sounds like a great idea in theory. But practically speaking, how is that supposed to work? It's hard enough for teachers of students in low-income areas to improve learning outcomes. How can schools help parents do something they themselves have such a hard time doing?

It is crucial to train our parents to become genuinely motivated partners in their children's educational journey, because at the end of the day, the most overwhelming key to the success of a child is the positive involvement of parents, which has the greatest effect on the child's life.


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