FIFTEEN years old Rabia finishes school at nearly 2 pm and heads straight off for series of tuitions every afternoon.

She goes back home at 7 pm, has dinner, watches some television and goes off to sleep. The next day, she wakes up and repeats the same routine until the weekend comes along and gives her some respite.

There's no marked improvement in Rabia's grades but there is immense comfort for her parents in knowing that they are helping her academic journey.

An alarming number of parents are now paying tuition teachers for their child's academic support, outsourcing learning and bearing costs above and beyond what what they pay schools for the same services.

Children are increasingly pressured into producing results and parents are worse off if the tuitions do not produce the results they hope for. Tuitions are a booming market now, as its popularity spurred in unprecedented ways through social media.

Social media sometimes becomes a dangerous place. replacing the proverbial 'word of mouth' where recommendations flow fast and furiously on WhatsApp and Facebook groups. A tuition teacher who earns a great reputation with a well-connected parents manage to break into the market quickly.

Activity groups for children work in much the same way. A substantial part of reliability and trust comes from social camaraderie - groups of children going together to learn ensures a great deal of safety and, after all, there is strength in numbers.

What if we were to change the landscape of parental involvement in school life through a close working relationship between teachers and parents.

Research shows that maintaining positive social ties among students, parents and teachers in a school community leads to general happiness, social well-being and academic achievement.

Rather than outsourcing learning for quick results, parental involvement is needed in school life as a vital cog in building children's morale, motivation and learning ability.

A research report by Mapp and Henderson titled A New Wave Of Evidence :

The Impact of School, Family and Community Connections on Student Achievement, found that students academic achievement is strongly linked to parental and community involvement in school life.

These essential relationships can be channeled through school parent-teacher associations. Not too many schools have formal PTAs with well-defined roles.

Parents support teachers in variety of ways, ranging from volunteering the reading booster groups and cataloguing the library to raising money for school supplies, organising family fun days and school trips.

Traditionally PTAs have been known to increase a sense of well-being in school by fostering cooperation between teachers and parents for the progress of the children.

PTAs are especially relevant in societies where state provision of education is in dire need of support and also where the cost of education is so high that PTSs are essential to contribute resources for teaching and learning.

PTAs also step in to help with school policy when the school fails to up to parents expectations. Parents are not only financial stakeholders in school but are vested emotionally and physically.

They spend time, effort and money on their children's well being and are eager to participate in their children's academic journey.

The honor and serving of the latest research and publication on Students well-being, continues. The World Students Society thanks author Neda Mulji.


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