The impact of parental involvement in school development
The community involvement in education is crucial. So, a key area of our school development program focuses on empowering parents to ensure that schools are supported by vibrant communities that are ready and committed to champion quality education in their children’s lives.
Through our community involvement approach, we ensure that the community, represented by parents associations or committees, receives the right tools and knowledge to help them find and mobilize their own assets as they seek to develop their schools. We also ensure that they access relevant training that will help them be involved in school leadership and management effectively.
But how does parental involvement fit into school development and quality education?
Meet Nephtali HABIYAREMYE, parent at Rwankuba Groups Scolaire
In his childhood, Nephtali struggled to access basic education due to his family’s tough circumstances. Today, he is a father of 9 children and a pastor of one of his community’s local churches. Nephtali believes basic education is a nonnegotiable right of all children and that parents should make their children’s education their first priority. That is why he volunteered to lead Rwankuba school parents’ committee whose main role is to support the school in matters related to school management and development. With up to 1020 children and 19 teachers, the school is located in the rural area of Gasabo district.
Nephtali shares how parental involvement has impacted the development of Rwankuba Groupe Scolaire:
“Like many public schools in our district, our school has also been characterized by overcrowded classrooms. So the parents association, in collaboration with the district, initiated a project of building more classrooms to reduce this problem. Parents voluntarily contributed to the implementation of this project
Parents have also been active in solving the dropout problem faced by many schools, including GS Rwankuba: “We have organized regular visits to families known to have children that dropped out of school. In our visits, we ensured that families receive the proper care and support to encourage them to be actively involved in their children’s education. In most cases, we were successful. More parents became engaged and very interested not only in their children’s learning but also in school leadership and management matters
” Nephtali said.
All these accomplishments as well as other practices like helping the school foster financial accountability, supporting the school in teachers behavior management, encouraging the school to set proper strategies, and supplementing to the teachers low salaries, are the results of a genuine parental involvement and are attributed to Wellspring’s investment in their community:
Nephtali tells that, “Most of us had no idea about how parents should be involved in school management or in quality education. Wellspring did a great job of helping us realize that our community has the potential and the assets to transform our school. Today, most parents in our community understand that their involvement in their children’s education is crucial and that quality cannot be achieved and sustained without an engaged and vibrant community