There is widespread agreement that the state of education and the resultant high numbers of unemployed youth is the highest risk facing our country.

Through our work with the School @ the Centre of Community project, we are more and more convinced that we (as concerned citizens of South Africa) can radically transform the education system through partnering with the following people:

1) Teachers / Educators (this is self-evident – what happens in the classroom is what matters most);

2) Parents (as partners to educators and people who play a critical role in supporting learning outside the classroom);

3) Ex-Teachers / Educators (who have much to offer in terms of skills and experience);

4) Principals (who have a critical leadership role)

In addition to the above groups, every person in South Africa can make a difference by supporting our learners to read & do maths and to inculcate a culture of learning.

Have you asked a child to read to you today?

We will be reaching out to you with news and information about all of the groups above. The focus of this particular message is Parents.

Parents supporting learning outside the classroom – How do we prepare parents for this task?  

One of the key discoveries of our work in the Western Cape is how unprepared many parents feel for their role in supporting learning / homework at home. Whilst parents would love to support their children with homework and learning at home, many parents have absolutely no idea how to do that. They did not experience parental / adult supervision in their own schooling and have no idea how to support the learning process at home.

Many teachers have come to believe the story that parents are not interested and are not even reaching out to parents or expecting parents to play a role as they have written them off as ‘not interested’. Imagine if we could change this story for good and help teachers see what becomes possible when parents are enrolled as partners in the learning process?

In the spirit of discovering the gems of good practice that is already happening in South Africa (rather than re-inventing the wheel), I am writing to ask whether you know of any group who have developed programs or processes to teach  parents / adults in the community how to support learning outside the classroom. If you do know of people who are working in this field, please alert them to this article and ask them to let us know about their work?  

Louise van Rhyn

Symphonia

ph 021 913 3507

Email: louise@symphonia.net

www.symphonia.net