The following conversation happens in Masomo Bora Academy, a leading academy in Kisii County Kenya that offers education from primary to high school. Kwambie is excited to meet Mr. Elimu Juma the teacher in charge of discipline and academic affairs in the school. Kwambie’s son – The Champ has just embarked on his primary school education and she is keen that he gets the maximum from school.
Kwambie: Happy New Year, Mr. Elimu. I hope it is not too late to wish you a happy new year.
Mr. Elimu: Not at all Kwambie, there is a saying in my community that every day of the year is a happy new year as long as we have not met that year.
Kwambie: Great. Glad to connect this year.
Mr. Elimu: The feeling is mutual.
Kwambie: Now to the reason why I asked for this interview and pick your brain on a few matters concerning education. Without too many words, today I want to echo the sentiments of several parents, “I want my child to succeed in school…what do I need to do?”
Mr. Elimu: Kwambie firstly you need to understand that success in school for any child is a concerted effort; the child, the parents, the teachers, the school and the society at large contribute to education success. But today, allow me to focus on the role you as a parent have to play towards your child’s education in school.
Kwambie: Thank you, Mr. Elimu. Go right ahead!
Mr. Elimu: There is no two way about it Kwambie, you just have to be actively involved in your child’s learning. Be the type of parent that is actively engaged in your child’s learning. When the school expects you in a school forum – be there. The parent teacher days are very important for you to get a full understanding of your child’s progress in school.
Kwambie: Thank you very much. I am here taking notes.
Mr. Elimu: Before you even decide on which school that your child should attend pay it a physical visit and henceforth from time to time. If your child’s school has a website visit it from time to time. This way you stay abreast of facilities that the school has to offer, in touch with trending events in your child’s school.
Kwambie: I help my child do his homework. Does that count too?
Mr. Elimu: Absolutely! Ensure that you child has a place with good lighting, free from distraction to enable them complete their homework. Help your child develop good study habits. In the early formative years, you as a parent may be able to provide guidance, however as the years progress, you may need the services of a tutor.
Kwambie: Thank you Mr. Elimu.
Mr. Elimu: Mentor your child in time management and organizational skills. They should be able to prioritize the activities they have in mind.
Kwambie: Interesting, the very same skills that we need in our day to day work as adults.
Mr. Elimu: Indeed many of the skills and good practices that we learn in our formative years transition with us into adulthood.
Kwambie: Tell me more about nutrition and well being? Does it have a role to play in our children’s learning?
Mr. Elimu: It does. I cannot overemphasize the importance of a balanced diet and sleep in a child’s learning. The sleeping times should be consistent, the meals prepared at home and at school nutritious.
Kwambie: Finally, tell me more about bullying and discipline. There has been a upsurge in indiscipline in our schools specifically high schools in Kenya. What do I need to know as a parent?
Mr. Elimu: Mama The Champ, discipline is at the core of learning. No child can learn effectively without being disciplined. Know your child’s school’s policy on discipline and ensure that your policies at home are in tandem with what the school has to offer. Closely related to this is bullying. Understand your child’s school policy on bullying, should your son fall victim to bullying or in the unfortunate event that he is the instigator of bullying.
Kwambie: Oh my, thank you for those insights Mr. Elimu Juma they are truly appreciated. I will take them into heart and share them with my fellow parents and guardians.
February 2018 – Soaring in love and soaring of children
© Kwambie Nyambane, February 2018.