Next to making the decision to have a child, as a parent or guardian the next probably most important decision is what schools the child will attend.
Though different factors should be put into consideration from nursery school up to university level when making the decision there are some that are common right from preschool to college or university level:
Teaching methods used and academic programs offered. While some schools employ rote method where “learning” is just a matter of cramming and reproducing what the student has repeatedly been drummed into ones head, other schools employ practical and skill based learning. My country Kenya has various education systems right from kindergarten level giving the parent choice. With each education system are different academic programs offered. The choice of academic programs offered also vary with the resources of the learning institution.
Extra curricular activities available. Very important to note that learning is not only about academic programs but also about extracurricular activities available in form of clubs, facilities, games and associations. This ensure a well rounded child and ensure that all the potential of the child is tapped.
Cost of tuition/ school fees and other added costs is very important. Although every parent wants the best possible education for ones child, the education should not be the type that dents one pocket and compromises other aspects of the child’s or family’s quality of life.
Truly, the average class size is important. This ensures an optimum student:teacher ratio. This way the teacher is able to identify the unique learning needs of your child and give the child the necessary attention.
School legacy, culture and values basically implies what the school stands for. Whereas some institutions pride themselves in academic excellence there are those that pride themselves in offering a holistic education that brings out the unique talent of each child. If religion is important to you as a parent it is important to ensure that the religious affiliations of the school are in tandem with your faith.
The resources and technology available. This has to do with learning facilities, classrooms, dormitories, play grounds and recreation facilities, laboratories, computer and IT facilities, so forth and so on.
Hopefully the school that one selects for their child should be rich in parental engagement. Does the school have a Parents Teachers Association? Are their open days for a parent to interact with the teacher and monitor the child’s performance?
Diversity of students and teachers. Life is diverse. Humanity is made of people of different races, creeds, religious affiliations, economic and social circumstances. One as a parent would probably be advised to consider institutions that are as diverse as possible for ones child to be able to successfully relate to people different from him or her and compete effectively in a global area and not just the child’s locality.
Location – this is very important in the early learn phase especially where the commute to and from school should not be unduly long.
Quality of teachers, their professionalism, their passion and enthusiasm.
What does your gut feel or intuition feel about the school, never ignore that feeling in the bottom of your belly.
Last but not least is the institution accredited by education authorities? If a school is not legally recognized, no matter how highly it may score in the factors discussed before then they all count for nought and a parent has to go back to the drawing board and seek the services of a school that is duly registered.
These are some of the key factors I have found important as a parent in the selection of education institutions for my child.
Can you think of any other factors that parents or guardians should put into consideration when making the choice of what school their child should attend?
Thank you for reading this article.
© Kwambie Nyambane,
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