Letter to the editor 2, Aug. 14, 2014
Parental involvement in education
Soon over 20,000 students will either be entering or returning to schools of the Lester B. Pearson School Board. These children, between the ages of five and 16, will spend only 15 per cent of their time in school. By next June, over 80 per cent would have done quite well and either graduate or be promoted. That said, in 2006, the Scottish Government passed the Parental Involvement Act because there was a realization that parents play a vital role in their child’s education.
The idea was to encourage parents to work closely with the school because they are the most important influences on their children’s lives. The bill was based on long-standing research pointing that parental involvement in a child’s education is a key factor in determining their success in life. The ‘Act’ states the decision-making process to be school-based, and education authorities “must listen” and “give proper responses” to the Parent Councils, which are Scotland’s version of our Governing Boards. Closer to home, the Ontario government launched a “Parent Involvement Policy” in 2010 that provides funding to schools to engage parents in the education of their children, and offers strategies for success (parentinvolvement.ca).
Evidence has shown that when parents get directly involved with their children’s education, students are more motivated and, consequently, gain higher marks. Moreover, to help combat the dropout rate, the best weapon to keep kids in school is, indeed, parental engagement. Quebec has the highest dropout rate in Canada. The government should consider providing more tools and more money to schools, to involve parents, to help increase student success, and encourage our youth to stay in school. This act would not only ensure more kids face a brighter future with the prospect of jobs, but also help the overburdened taxpayer supporting fewer people without jobs.