The Abu Dhabi Education Council (Adec) has called for greater parental involvement in the education system, which has been backed by leading education company Pearson.
While speaking to an audience of 1,500 school administrators and higher education officials at the second annual Education Leaders Forum, Dr Amal Al Qubaisi, director-general of the Adec, said that parents need to be more aware about what their sons and daughters are studying at school and be more engaged in their children's academic and extra-curricular activities.
Parental involvement in a child’s education has been singled out as one of the key indicators of a child’s educational success. A significant number of studies undertaken in a number of different countries have suggested that regardless of socio-economic background or parental education level, the degree of parental involvement in a child’s education will have a significant, positive impact on the learning outcomes of that child, he said.
Pearson’s Learning Curve Study, a collection of 2,500 data points on educational, economic and social indicators from the widest array of international educational indicators in existence, supports the view that families have a profound effect on educational outcomes.
An adjunct paper to the Learning Curve Study noted that regularly reading to a child in the first year of primary school would increase his or her PISA reading score by age 15 by more than half an academic year, said a statement.
Similarly, even simply discussing political or social issues with 15 year-olds was shown to have a statistically significant effect on their educational performance. Other studies have pointed to parental involvement being closely linked to a child’s school-based behaviour and the likelihood of a child finishing secondary school and entering tertiary education, it said.
Karim Daoud, managing director of Pearson in the Middle East, said that the message for parents and policy makers in the region is clear – policies seeking to improve overall educational indicators must consider parental participation.
“Parents, even more so than teachers, make the most important contribution to how effective and often how enjoyable a child finds their learning experience. We therefore need to be examining ways in which we can more actively engage GCC parents in school life, at both primary and secondary level," said Daoud.
"As well as making parents more aware of how important their role is in their child’s education, we need to look at ways we can open up communication avenues between schools and homes and look to reducing system barriers to parental involvement. Parents need to be given the information and the skills needed to become more active participants in the education system,” he said.
Daoud noted that its has never been more important to make parents aware of the critical part they play in their children’s academic success.
“There is no doubt that parents in the region are busy, juggling child-raising with other commitments and responsibilities. This often means we aren’t always fully aware of what is happening in our children’s lives at school. However, in today’s technology driven world there are many ways parents can keep the lines of communication open with their children’s teachers and school leaders," he said.
"Pearson has collaborated with ADEC to rollout eSIS, the Enterprise Student Information System, a tool designed to encourage parents to engage in their children’s academic performance and keep them regularly updated with important school information. The system has been rolled out in all Adec schools, ensuring parents across the Abu Dhabi Emirate are given the resources necessary to actively engage in their child’s education,” he added. - TradeArabia News Service