Sometimes figuring out just the right balance of parental involvement in a child's education can be a real struggle, and seeking out a second opinion from experts could make matters even more confusing. Following on the heels of a warning by John Roseman that taking too active a role in a child's academic life could lead parents to inadvertently knee-cap their children's academic progress comes another — this time from Daniel Wong of Singapore Scene that withdrawing from an active role in a child's education too much can have the same result.
Wong calls to task the parents who think that they can remove themselves from the process of learning entirely, instead limiting their participation to signing tuition checks. But even the best private schools with the smallest teacher/student ratios aren't equipped to deal with all aspects of students' academic development. The best way to make sure that a student is performing to their potential is to think of a relationship between the parent and the teacher not as one of an employer and an employee – thus maintaining basically a supervisory brief over the whole process – but as a partnership. While instructors do their utmost for the children in school, parents should put forth a similar amount of effort at home.
As such, parents cannot—and must not—shirk the responsibility of educating their children.
To you parents reading this: Are you an excellent role model for your child? Do you show respect and honor for everyone you interact with, regardless of their social status? Are you always in control of your emotions? Do you display high standards of integrity?
Many years ago, then-First Lady of the United States Hilary Clinton wrote a book on child-rearing called "It Takes a Village.." after an African proverb "It takes a village to raise a child." Wong believes that parents of today need to take this as as their motto as they try to calibrate their own level of involvement. Taking a typical Singaporean approach of standing on the sidelines and dictating how things need to be done is much less effective in the long run than getting in and working in tandem with teachers to make sure that kids are learning all that they're supposed to learn.
I've heard it said that opposing everything without proposing anything is irresponsible. When it comes to education—or any other sector, really—let's take responsibility for being the change that we want to see.
No more pointing fingers, no more whining.
Education matters because lives are at stake. Lives are on the line.
So let's work together to build a better education system, a better country, and a better future.