Make a mark

As schools analyze low grad rates and seek to improve education, perhaps it is worth clarifying the purpose of schools.

As schools analyze low grad rates and seek to improve education, perhaps it is worth clarifying the purpose of schools.

The modern-day assumption is that school is responsible for preparing students for all the challenges of life, but is that realistic? Don’t parents and families have primary responsibility to prepare children for life?

That is not to say that schools don’t have a very important role. Schools teach children and youth basic skills such as reading, writing and math. Students learn problem solving, develop creativity, and develop social skills through interactions with peers and teachers. But research shows that the primary influence that affects and shapes young people are their parents and family life. Children learn behaviour patterns at home, which then translate into conduct at school and in the world at large.

Schools report that one of their biggest challenges is having students engage and apply themselves to their studies. This is something only individual students can change, but encouragement at home that hard work can bring rewards and satisfaction should not be discounted.

The biggest influence parents can have on their children is through example. That is, children need to see parents working hard in their jobs and at home. Despite mistakes and challenges that come with parenting, children often see their parents’ motives and are impacted by integrity.