PARENT–SCHOOL PARTNERSHIP FOR STUDENT SUCCESS
PRESENTED AT THE
PARENT-TEACHER ASSOCIATION (PTA) OF
HOSANNA INTERNATIONAL COLLEGE, JOS ON
7TH NOVEMBER 2009
ADEFOLAJU FALADE PhD
Partnership refers to relationship between two or more people working to together to achieve similar purpose. Parents and the school are considered partners because they work together for the success of students. A parent may be defined as a father or mother, one from whom the young ones derive life, one who has motherly or fatherly influence on the young ones. Apart from biological parents, others who assume this role include grandparents, godparents, community parents and guardians. Teachers are the key operators at the school level because they translate policies to practice and programme to action. Along with other member of the school community, teachers also serve as models to students. Children are dependent on their care-givers at home and school and most importantly on God to succeed. This necessitates strengthening the parent-school ties through partnership. Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) provides a forum for such partnership to be actualized.
Parent-Teacher Association (PTA)
PTA is a formal organisation that promotes parent–school partnership. PTA consists of parents and teachers/staff. PTA is intended to facilitate parental participation in a public or private school. PTA is a non- profit organization which has been in existence for more than a century globally. The National chapter of USA PTA was founded as far back as 1897 with its first meeting held in Marietta. PTA is not just local or national it is internationally recognized. Other equivalent organizations are PTO (Parent Teacher Organisation), PTF (Parent Teacher Forum). PTA, however, tends to have wider use and recognition. The goal of PTA is primarily to encourage parent involvement, to support the school, to support teachers to organize family events with the overall result of producing successful children.
Parents are the ones principally charged by God to train their children; the school is employed to provide the professional and technical training to complement the training given at home and in the community. Home training is the responsibility of parents and this should be taken seriously because there is no alternative to it. Parents are the first social contact a child has. “Charity begins at home,” in fact a child is a product of the genes of his parents. From home, a child receives some sense of value, priority setting and attitudes. The US Secretary of Education describes the family as the rock on which a solid education can be built. He says, "If families teach the love of learning it can make all the difference in the world to their children” (Reley, 2000).” Parents serve as sources of values, providers of information, determiners of priorities, role models, leaders and case managers.
Research findings (Henderson and Karen, 2002) confirm that there is a positive and convincing relationship between family involvement and student’s success, regardless of race/ ethnicity, class or parental background. This means that children whose parents are involved in their learning both at home and in school perform better. The former US President Bill Clinton (2001) in his State of Union address declares” Parents who know their children’s teachers and help with home work and teach their kids right from wrong- those parents can make a world of difference. The teacher’s personality, skills, knowledge of subject matter, attitudes and method of delivery are factors of his integrity which add value to the orientation given to children at school level. Improving the success of students, therefore, calls for quality partnership between parents and school.
Recommendations for Effective Parent-School Partnership:
1. Welcoming parents into the school community
• Active participation of parents in activities
• Avoid confrontational situations and arguments
• Teachers should be ready to showcase students’ work
2. Effective communication:
Parents and school should engage in regular, two–way meaningful communication about the student
• Report cards
• School calendar
3. Support students’ success
Parents and school staff should collaborate to support students’ learning and healthy growth both at home and school
• Love and care for every child
• Prompt payment of fees
• Equip every child with all necessary personal learning materials
• Prize Giving and Award Ceremony
• Support assignments
4. Speaking up for every child
• Expressing concern over the well-being of the child by parents and teachers at every available opportunity.
• Avoid abusive and derogatory expressions when describing a child
5. Power sharing
Parents and school staff are partners in issues that affect the life of the student through
6. Collaborate with the community
• provide expanded learning opportunities
• participation in competitions
• Community Based Associations
PTA promotes successful school training. When parents and school work together, in line with godly principles, there is better understanding of every child and his peculiar needs. Finally, I wish to re-emphasize that when parents get personally involved in education, their children do better in school and grow up to be successful in life. Getting involved is a sure way to guarantee the peace of the child, the family, the school and indeed everyone. I wish to encourage all parents and teachers to get involved and stay involved, raising a generation of children for the glory of God.
Hosanna in the Highest!