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What can Schools Do?

Parent School Partnership: The importance of parent-school partnership cannot be under estimated. Children benefit much when parents and teachers work together as partners in education. Since parents are the custodians of all the vital information about the students, it becomes much easier when frequent dialogues are established between the parent and teacher.

Providing information and ideas

To families about how to help students at home with homework and other curriculum-related activities, decisions, and planning. This can be made possible by providing information to families on Learning outcomes and skills required for students in all subjects at each grade, Information on homework policies and how to monitor and discuss school work at home and making provision for family participation in setting student goals for further studies. For this purpose schools should undertake a training session for parents on guided parenting.

Provide resources

Identify and integrate resources and services from the community: Information can be provided from time to time for students and families on community health, cultural, recreational social support, and other programs/services.

Provide facilities: Books should bemade available for children fromthe school library

Coordinate remediation and homework: Arrange small sessions for students in immediate neighborhoods within the school’s boundaries while maintaining COVID protocols.

Distribute assignment planners to students: Assign homework in a way that encourages parents to be actively involved with their child’s homework and study time. Share weekly progress bysendingweeklyfolderswith gradedwork so that parents can track their child’s progress and monitor areas in which they need help. Wherever possible, Newsletters, emails,memos, etc. can be sentto parents.

Availability of resources: The teacher can recommend watching educational videos to parents directly and distribute materials for their reference. To continue the learning process in this adverse situation, and minimize the learning losses, this can prove to be an effective strategy. Parents can access content from the DIKSHA platform,smartphones, TV, IVRS, and radio. Children who do not have access to such mediums at home can receive a physical hard copy of the activity kit atschool.

Include parents in school decisions

Schools can have a system to choose parent leaders and representatives by active Parent Teacher Associations or other parent organizations, advisory councils, or school management committees. Also, by establishing networks to link all families with parent representatives, consensus decisions can be taken on important aspects. Parents can also be encouraged to do volunteering in their child's school.

Participation in SMC meetings: Parents should be encouraged to participate in SMC meetings. Apart from the discussion on issues related to school and learning of children, some fun activities may be organised. It can be used as a platform for sharing best practices adopted by parents to support learning at home, thus motivating other parents.

Bal Sabha: Since gatherings cannot take place due to the pandemic, online BAL Sabha may be arranged where all may hear children's contributions in reciting poems, stories, views, etc.

Parent surveys

Schools can prepare questionnairesfor parents of students in every grade,to get feedback on issues related to children'slearning and well-being. The information so provided would be useful for both stakeholders to understand the unique attributes of each child, its aptitude, attitude, temperament, interests, habits, and hobbies. Parent surveys should primarily focus on children'slearning and accessto learning resources etc. Schools should provide information about other institutional support mechanisms for the families to accessin case there are issues of abuse, violence, etc.

In case parents are unable to complete the questionnaire, oral interviews/ interactions may be conducted to collect authentic information.

Inclusive environment for partnerships

Schools should provide an environment inclusive for all parents and their children, regardless of theirsocio-economic or educational background. Parents' illiteracy can be a barrier to participation, for which school should provide them additional support. Some parents shy away from going to school because their illiteracy makes them feel inadequate and incapable. They lack the confidence to interact with teachers and avoid PTMs. It is important for schools to make such parents realize their responsibility towards their children’s learning and their immense potential to help in their children's education even without being educated. When school personnel exhibit positive attitudes toward parents/families they feel more welcome in the school

Schools may also make specific efforts to involve families who generally have low participation. Parents may be given guidance from the school about how they can help their children, provide support or resources that teach parents howto help, or give tools to assist parents in helping their children. Schools may arrange Home visits, out reach programs, connect them to community resources; or make provisions for resources to ensure better participation.

Schools must ensure that interactions with parents and children are based on the principle of equity and inclusion. Parents who are shy and avoid participating in school activities, due to different reasons e.g. literacy levels, must be supported and encouraged by the teachers. When teachers reach out and engage with parents positively, they feel respected. they feel comfortable in sharing their concerns and issues. this also increases their participation in the governance of schools.

Schools may spread awareness about adult Literacy programmes and motivate illiterate parentsto enroll in such programmes.

Source : Ministry of Education



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