The transformational impact of Parental involvement in school development | Florence’s Story

For a decade, Wellspring has been actively and passionately engaged in transforming the lives of Rwandans through a Christian values based School Development Program in the district of Gasabo. A key component of the program focuses on equipping the community and particularly parents so that they can increase their involvement in the development of their schools, and in the learning and teaching of their children. This is achieved by encouraging parents to engage in Schools General Assembly Committees (SGACs) representing parents and whose mission is to ensure a balanced and an inclusive engagement of the community in school management and development. This is essentially done through an Asset Based Community Development approach (ABCD), a concept that encourages innovation and homegrown solutions. Meet Florence Mutuyemungu

Florence Mutuyemungu

Among the parents of the Gasabo District Community that have been privileged to be trained by Wellspring, is Florence Mutuyemungu, a middle-aged mother who works as a care giver in a nursery school and sits on Groupe Scolaire Kabuye Catholic General Assembly Committee as an advisor. As a result of this training, Florence developed a great passion for early childhood education to the point that people in her Community asked her to take a care giver job in one of the community nurseries. Following a recent 2 days training of the Schools General Assembly Committees (SGACs) and hosted by Wellspring, Florence wanted to share how helpful wellspring involvement in supporting parents has been to her and to many  parents as well.   “Schools should consider parents as one of their key strengths”, she said as she was passionately explaining the parental involvement in key school matters like the learning and teaching of students, and school management and accountability.   “I am so thankful to wellspring for their great involvement in empowering us as members of Schools General Assembly Committees. Although we were elected and entrusted by our fellow parents to assist our community schools, some of us had no idea about what was expected from a School General Assembly Committee. Wellspring helped us understand the nature of our role as well as our relationship with teachers, school leaders and students. So this training [on what should be the role and the responsibilities of Schools General Assemblies Committees] is very important and relevant since it helps the participants earn a deeper und8erstanding of what it takes to be involved the development of their schools. I strongly believe that if the lessons learned are consistently put into practice, schools will be positively impacted, and our students’ quality education will be deeply improved” said the nursery care giver. Florence is an eyewitness of the real transformation that takes place in schools where parents are involved as a result of Wellspring’s investment in the Community. “The increased parental awareness to be involved in the development of schools has allowed substantial and positive change in many ways. As a result of Wellspring initiatives, parents developed healthy work relations with school leaders. This ended the recurrent conflicts between parents and school head teachers. We also witnessed a growing attendance of parents in schools meetings. Many parents got involved in the development of schools infrastructures like fences, refectories, public latrines and hygiene rooms. Parents proactively supplemented teachers’ low salaries through voluntary and regular financial contributions. But on top of all that, students’ performance and quality education were highly improved. We hope that these kinds of training will continue to be accessible to as many parents as possible, to ensure that the community involvement in education is fostered”.
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