Parents must play their part in schools

The art of caring: It’s not words but acts of kindness that go a long way. The teachers, parents and pupils of SK Meru are seen here with the residents of Pusat Jagaan Warga Emas after the art and handicraft session.

The involvement of mums and dads in school projects brings about encouraging results for both students and their parents.

AS we are aware, the Malaysian Education System is slowly progressing towards a new system, where teachers are given more responsibilities in setting up the framework to produce well-rounded students.

We often hear teachers complain about how their paperwork takes too much of lesson-planning time. This is because teachers are often burdened with non-teaching chores and recording data online, compared to the conventional way of recording everything in a log book.

With more teachers complaining about this, it dawned on me to do my part to ease the situation.

I asked myself, what could I do to help and make sure that parents were more involved in the schooling process of their children? What could parents do to ease the teachers’ burden, to ensure the quality during contact hours in the classroom is not compromised because of their workload?

The intention was simple – to create students who are more holistic in academics, while building character at the same time.

My journey began last year when my eldest daughter (who was nine at the time) was selected to be part of a competition in school. It was only then that I seized the moment to be more involved, rather than perform the usual routine of dropping off and picking her up from school.

I took the initiative to be present during the students’ training sessions where I contributed my ideas.

Apart from that I became their guardian, mother, teacher and friend. That’s when I realised, we do not have to do much to show that we care and support these children; only give our time and attention.

I also grew closer to the teachers and they, too, were happy to see that as a parent, I was doing my part to ensure that the students were not participating in a competition for the sake of competing, but to also learn values for a lifetime.

It was also clear to me the tremendous impact the pre-event preparation and competition had on my daughter. There was a difference in her attitude. She seemed to have better skills at communicating, and with that came her confidence, and leadership qualities.

As a mother of two children who were both studying at SK Meru (Jalan Tap), Klang, Selangor, I felt the need to do more. I took the initiative to spend some time in school to organise more activities with teachers and other parents.

We successfully organised an English Day programme named EBIC Day. We also successfully introduced club activities such as tuition programmes every Sunday, entrepreneurship club (handled by the students themselves), art and crafts activities and invention programmes, amongst many others.

It was through this initiative that parents began to realise that they too, had a part to play in ensuring the success of their children.

Since then, more parents have stepped forward to help organise activities in school.

Throughout this process, it was evident that parental involvement in school endeavours encouraged positive outcomes. And I am especially grateful to see the improvement in my daughter in terms of behaviour, discipline and other aspects.

I continued to support not just my daughter, but the school for other outside classroom activities. I found pleasure and joy in seeing children develop and mature at a very young age.

To me, being a well-rounded student is far more important than being a student who is only book smart. I strongly believe that schools, parents and communities should work together to promote a healthy and conducive learning environment for students.

Such positive collaborations benefit our children, which is the end goal of parents and teachers alike – to see the next generation grow and become a better person in society.

Through positive collaborations between teachers and parents in schools, students experience a learning process that is different and more exciting.

It is a great opportunity for students of SK Meru to be one of the most sought-after students through the school adoption programme administered by the SP Setia Foundation. The foundation has also allowed us the opportunity to be an important part of our children’s education.

We kicked off our first Caring School project last month, named Token of Love, with the aim of spreading love and care among the pupils, teachers and the school.

The children visited the Pusat Jagaan Warga Emas in Selangor, where they taught the elderly residents how to make planters and containers using recyclable plastic products.

There was so much of fun and excitement as the pupils helped to cut up plastic bottles and guided them through the steps to turn the bottles into planters.

We live in a challenging world and it is important for us to play our roles as the ultimate educators. The traditional education system is being transformed to keep up with the immense changes our children are experiencing now.

I will continue to support all programmes initiated by schools within or outside the premises, simply because the rewards are worth more than words can say. I firmly believe that in order to create a caring society, we do not need to say we care for one another, but instead show it, as action speaks louder than words.

This article was written by Norhayati Ahmad whose children are pupils of SK Meru, Klang, The school is under the SP Setia Caring School programme.

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