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OPINION: Some parents are dismal failures in their kids' education

By Mapula Nkosi | 2017-10-12 10:33:13.0

With the kids having gone back to school after their spring break, parents and pupils are now preparing for final exams.

Even though it is our kids writing the exams, parents equally take on the burden of stressing about how they handle the demands of the exams.

This is also that time of the year when parents have finalised application forms for next year, whether it is your little one heading to big school or your teenager's angst about making new friends in high school next year, and/or your young adult contemplating the temptation that comes with total freedom at the university.

To qualify for placing at the various schools, pupils and students have to meet certain criteria, and this left me wondering how many parents would fare if they were also to be tested on how diligent we are about our children's school life.

At a parents' evening earlier this year, I was queuing next to a parent when I overheard his whispered conversation that told me there are many parents out there who are just coasting along and not putting in the work required when it comes to their children's school work.

The dad was asking his daughter for information about the names of her subject teachers.

"I know your class teacher is a Mr Du Preez or Mr Du Plessis, but can you please send me an sms to tell me who he is and also, who are your maths and biology teachers," he said, which got me chuckling.

I think the older the child gets, the more the parents outsource their education to teachers, especially for the pupils who are in high school.

Parents are more vigilant in tracking the syllabus and the homework in the lower grades.

It is understandable that as kids grow older we must stop micro managing them, as we try to teach them to be independent, but it is amazing how much we shop our entire responsibilities as they move up the grades. This got me thinking how one would perform in a test to measure their participation in their children's education. Below is a test to see how you fare.

If you cannot satisfactorily answer any seven of these questions, you are found wanting as a parent. If you are continuously failing in this task, it is time for you to go back to school.