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EDITORIAL: Switch Off holiday Mode, Switch On School Mode

Smart parents started last month shopping around for their children’s bags, stationery and shoes/sandals for the new school year. They took advantage of discounted prices during the Christmas sales. For
06 Jan 2015 12:23
EDITORIAL: Switch Off holiday Mode, Switch On School Mode

Smart parents started last month shopping around for their children’s bags, stationery and shoes/sandals for the new school year. They took advantage of discounted prices during the Christmas sales.

For those who missed out it is not too late to start today.

The same principle applies to those enrolling their children at schools of their choices. If they have not done so, it’s advisable they do it when school office opens soon.

Like every year there will be competition for places in schools that have high decile ratings. Every parent wants their children to go to schools that produce high academic achievers year after year. The zone system requires students to go to schools in their localities.

In reality, this is often not practised because parents want the best for their children. They will choose schools they believe will deliver for their children what is in their wish-list.

Schools too, for similar reasons, will accept students who show solid academic records and promise for the future. These students will raise the school profile when they become high achievers. Some students easily get into school because of their sports background and can excel in competitive sports like rugby, soccer and athletics.

Whatever the criteria is, schools and parents demand high standards in the respective disciplines. It’s a matter of personal pride and fulfillment.

Because of free education and free bus fare, no child of school age, should be at home when school starts.

If they have not already started, parents have a moral responsibility to prepare their children for school. They need to switch off from the holiday mood and focus on making sure that their children have the essential items for school ready.

There is always a tendency many parents run around just before the school starts to look for these items. Now is the time to prepare, if they have not started.

Parents play a pivotal role in the education of their children. Research has shown overwhelming evidence that children whose parents provide 100 per cent support usually do well at school. Support does not only mean providing basic school items like stationery, books, bags, shoes/sandals etc. It also means giving them prime time to discuss how they are progressing at school. Not all students are self-motivated and may not require parental help to attend school, study and do their homework. That is why it is so important that parents spend quality time with their children. When they do it, they remind the children that they do care and want them to pass their examinations and succeed in life. Many children need motivation and encouragement and parents are in the best position to provide them. Parents cannot abdicate this God-given responsibility and pass it on to someone else.

In Fiji, we are blessed that we have a Government that has invested millions of dollars in education to ensure that no child is left behind. That investment will go to waste if we fail to take advantage of it. Education is not compulsory so people have a choice. The smart ones will recognise the benefits of this opportunity and grab it with both hands. Government’s vision is of a smart Fiji where we have educated, skilled and qualified people holding key positions. It would raise efficiency and productivity.

But Government cannot do it alone because it cannot compel parents to send their children to school or face prosecution. It would rely on the parents’ wise choice.

There is only one choice: All school-age children should be in classrooms this year.

 

Feedback: nemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj

 




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