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Education: How parents dump parenting roles on teachers

In recent times, the nonstop complaints on the quality of education received by Nigerian children in public school, especially at the basic level, has led…

In recent times, the nonstop complaints on the quality of education received by Nigerian children in public school, especially at the basic level, has led to an influx of parents taking their children to private schools.

The emergence of private schools in the country to complement the efforts of the government in providing education to the population is a welcome development as it has brought about serious competition in the sector.

In the past, the private schools were mostly patronised by the rich while the poor made do with the public schools but today, even the poor are striving to see their wards through affordable private schools.

However, in a bid to remain relevant and outshine competitors, many private schools come up with different initiatives ranging from introduction of crèche houses, extra classes, games, summer classes, marking of special days among others to make their students smart and competitive to meet the global standards.

Also to sell all these initiatives to parents not just as a means to give advantage to the students but also to make extra cash to run the schools, most pupils and students are left in school for extra hours beyond the expected closing time.

These have made most parents comfortable and preferred their children to spend more time in school than at home thereby forgetting the role they should play in educating their wards.

A teacher in a private school in Abuja who does not want to be mentioned, while sharing her experience in the hands of some parents said it is very unfortunate the way some parents behave, by shifting the role of parenting to them.

“The crèche is the most difficult, some parents will bring the kids as early as few minutes to 7.00 am with wet pampers and on empty stomach and hand them over to teachers to take care of and in some cases even when the child is sick, the parents will drop them at school with their medicine instead of keeping them at home to monitor their situation,” she said.

She said the worst is that sometimes, some of them do not even check their wards books to find out if they are given assignments and they have to call the attention of parents severally to help the kids carry out their assignment.

“Most parents do not know what is happening around the lives of their children, at home, the housekeeper takes care of them and in the morning they drop them off at school for teachers and most times you see some of them blaming you and questioning what you are teaching them when their wards do something wrong and they forgot that they are the major team player in schooling their children,” she said.

Another teacher who gave his name as Michael said parents need to get involved in educating their children, because education is not just about learning in classes, as it involves character molding, interpersonal relationships and intellectual development which their parents will have to inculcate in their children.

“There is little that some teachers can do, we also ignore some of their actions because we are not allowed to beat or quarrel with them,” he said.

A parent who preferred to be called Mary said schooling the kids is not an easy task in addition to taking care of them and their needs at home, “So if you can just spare some little cash for someone to, parents don’t mind.

“I tried several times to take my kids on lessons at home but it was not easy and they are not paying attention. After all the shouting and running around, I decided to get them a lesson teacher, I think they have the grace to handle the kids more,”  she said.

Another parent who doesn’t want to be mentioned said she is guilty of dumping work on teachers because of her work schedule. “I am always in a haste to drop them off at school and sometimes go late to pick them and the teachers are tired of complaining.”

She said as a working-class mother, she has to do so many things at the same time including taking care of the home front so it is difficult to add schooling to it.

The Chairman of Voyage International School, Abuja said there is a dysfunctional parenting role when it comes to educating children and they pay poor attention to them.

He said parents no longer have time for their kids. Some of the children are coming late to school and the parents are also picking them late and not seeing to their homework.

Reacting, a teacher with Concordia College Yola, Oluwabunmi Anani said in today’s fast-paced age when everybody seems to be in a hurry, it is no news that most parents no longer have time for their children.

She noted that though for parents, organisations need to meet their target; businesses have to survive the strong wave of competition around; staff needs to stay abreast of innovations, which require a lot of time, privacy and even money, so for them, children need to spend less time with mum and dad – who are almost never available anyway.

The implication, she said, is that teachers are expected to play the role of the parents, asides from their primary responsibility of imparting knowledge. “The teacher spends more time with the child, all in the name of extra lessons; the teacher is responsible for the child’s moral development, hygiene, grooming, feeding and even entertainment,”

She, however, said there is a limit to the parenting role teachers can play in the life of the children and advised that in as much as they recognise the economic realities around, parents should wake up to their responsibilities.

To the parents, she said: “First, reexamine your priority as a parent. Do you think a teacher fully understands and grasps what your plans and expectations are for your child? Do you think somebody else can do it better than you? Would all your money and social success replace or fix your child when he is out of sorts?

“What would it profit you dad and mum to own an empire while raising a child you hardly know and hardly knows you – total estranged persons? Let’s assess our priorities and allow the truth to reposition our values as parents,” she said.

Meanwhile, experts have noted that ‘home education’ represents the educational impact of the family on children and has been proved that children do acquire a variety of experiences, through performing various activities and are constantly exposed to a range of influence and expectations from the people they cohabit.

They said the role of the parent as an educator represents a crucial resource to the development of the individual identity.

“Offering educational support to them, by their parents, concerning issues such as preparing their homework, on the other hand, creates the so-called habits of the everyday routine of action to the learning process, which makes the parents vaunt and praise them, creating and strengthening this way better mutual communication between the parents and children,” one of them said.

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