Editorial Comment – Our children, our future

Children of Natokowaqa celebrate Palm Sunday. Picture: BALJEET SINGH

Children of Natokowaqa during Palm Sunday celebrations. Picture: BALJEET SINGH

MINISTER for Women, Social Welfare and Poverty Alleviation Mereseini Vuniwaqa made an interesting observation last year.Marking International Day of Families at St Theresa College in Bemana, Nadroga, she said families should take care of each other to make communities stronger. She said parental involvement was one of the most overlooked aspects of education.

Although families all over the world have transformed greatly over the past decades in terms of their structure and as a result of global trends and demographic changes, the United Nations, on its website, said it still recognised the family as the basic unit of society.

The International Day of Families, it said, provided an opportunity to promote awareness of issues relating to families and to increase knowledge of the social, economic and demographic processes affecting them.

The day, it said, had inspired a series of awareness-raising events, including national family days. In many countries, this day, it said, was an opportunity to highlight different areas of interest and importance to families.

International Day of Families is observed on May 15 every year.

In her speech at Bemana, Mrs Vuniwaqa said many parents did not realise how important it was to get involved in their children’s learning. Her message was apt then as it is today.

Parents and family members, she said, should find the time and make the effort because research showed that when families got involved,

their children got better grades and test scores; graduated from high school at higher rates; were more likely to go on to higher education; and were better behaved and had more positive attitudes.

Family involvement, she said, was one of the best investments a family could make. It goes without saying that education has the potential to help families get out of poverty.

In the face of that line of thought would be the reverse side.

We asked this question then, is parental involvement over-rated?

We said, surely there would be surveys that pointed positively to parental guidance playing a key role in education.

Would it stand to reason than that there could be studies showing a more structured involvement of parents was better?

Or should we be talking about ways for parents to be involved in the education of children?

If we are to suggest that there is no harm in parents being involved, then perhaps we could throw in the line that there should be suggestions on how this should happen.

Perhaps schools could be focused on finding creative ways to involve parents in the education of their children.

Perhaps we should find ways to develop an environment for children that is conducive to improving their education.

Surely most parents have the vital ingredients needed for this very important assignment! Time and patience!

Let’s do the little things first. Find the time to remind our children to do their homework, ask them whether they understand their assignments, and show interest in how they are doing in school.

As parents and guardians, we can strongly influence how our children grow up and appreciate things around them.

Surely we all want our children to be the best they can be. That is why we each have an important role to play.

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