In principle, the connection between home and classroom should occupy the highest place in any parent’s agenda for their child. When the parent first hands over the child to the teacher in Kindergarten, they only temporarily ‘transfer’ part of their life skills building role to the school for a few hours until they receive their child back from the school at the end of the school day.
Healthy familiarity with the person in whose hands your child will spend the bulk of the daytime is key. This can be attained through constant and open communication facilitated via digital data connections (class group emails, instant message services, Instagram) with clear cut administrative rules.
Use of a portal with passwords for each parent should be a mandatory feature in any school that is middle to high income. A teacher would post daily activities, concerns or any other material that a parent should be aware of as they review the day with the child. It is important to note the challenges of Sub-Saharan Africa with use of Computers, yet we can leverage the developments in the telecoms sector to use phone communication which is available even for low income parents.
Schools should encourage partnerships with service providers and the ministry of education to understand what is possible especially for low income schools. More than quarterly face to face meetings schools should construct their parent teacher consultations around making sure that parents and teachers exchange views at least once a week.
Consideration should be given for having weekly afternoon connection events where both teacher, parent and child are present. Encourage group learning with age mates outside class hours with programs designed jointly by parents and teachers to make the ‘world a classroom’ and every moment in life a ‘learning moment’. Living in the information age means that a re-set, if innovatively deployed, can enhance children’s educational experiences. This will provide a unique opportunity for each student (resources allowing) to match their gifting with specific learning so that they can reach their unique individual goals in life.