By Joseph M. Mumbe
The fact that schools have received results for PLE & UCE from UNEB, all stakeholders are in preparation for the reopening as students move on to the next level. The best performing schools automatically end up sweeping students from the worst performers. But is academic performance the only scale to rate the best and worst schools? A good school is not only essential in the upbring of a child academically, but also morally, socially and spiritually.
These aspects are very essential in holistic growth of a child. Vet and scale what the institutions offer before you consider your child enrolled there. Why should you have a well- qualified doctor who is a homosexual/lesbian and a misfit in the society? The following tips can help you decide on where to take your child.
Priority sets the list of options or choices in ranks of importance. The student’s priority and that of the parent should be in agreement in order to have a unified resolution. The school you want your child in and what you want your child to be in future are very crucial since they play a vital role in shaping them to reach their full potential and God given ability.
In professional counseling, a counselor does not decide or choose for the counselee but only guides them to make their own decisions.
One of the mistakes parents make is to impose their wishes to and against the child’s plans and dreams. It reminds me of my contemporaries with whom we studied education but never stepped in class to teach save the internship they did. Why? Education wasn’t their priority but that of their parents/guardians. Some parents/guardians just insist on the need to have a medical doctor, Lawyer etc. in their family without asking the children what they want to be. They end up making wrong choices and their children end up in wrong places. Have a consensus through mutual talk with the child!
No parent would like their children to be in poorly performing schools. Flash a little in the mode of achieving the best grades today. Performance has become adulterated and now we have “ungenuine” results due to high competition and business-oriented institutions. There are schools whose products can’t defend their academic results and above all, some institutions do find it hard to admit products of particular schools for continued learning.
Still other institutions only coach their candidates to only pass exams, beyond that level, the candidates can no longer produce the equivalent of what they got at previous levels. Sample the best performers at primary level, follow them up in high schools and tertiaries and see how many will keep the standard genuinely. Where is the fault?
It is unfortunate that career guidance in schools is defunct and the so-called Career teachers and directors of studies are only placeholders but not functional in terms of guidance to students. The parent with help of the professional career teachers should identify the child’s potential and guide them in that particular area.
Some children are talented naturally in different ways. I have seen naturally talented artists in institutions not offering related courses yet they struggle in areas they undertake. It is like using your teeth to open bottle tops. The teeth are not meant for that. Discover the child’s potential and make right placement in schools that will unearth more and guide them through!
Another very important element of growth is moral aspect. Know the moral standard of the school you intend to take your child. Will such a school set a good foundation/ make a continuation of standard existing? Many children have gotten spoilt and others have got uprightness in schools.
Consider the peers the child will encounter, the faith affiliation etc. Why do we have moral decadence in society even among the elites? Which schools did they attend? Good peers will set good company as the Luganda proverb goes, “Mbulira gwoyita naye, nkubulire empisa ze.” Literally meaning, “tell me who you identify with, I will tell you, their character.” Some are exposed to pornographic materials while others are open to obscenity in language or both. Institutions whose moral values are loose won’t help your child. Why should you have a well- qualified doctor who is a homosexual/lesbian and a misfit in the society?
Currently, an average urban performing school’s tuition ranges between 800,000/= and 1.5 million shillings. Before you make choice of which school your child should be enrolled in, weigh your pocket and determine if you measure up. Is the school customer tailored? Do they have a listening ear? Otherwise, you and your child shall greatly be disappointed as the child shall be frequently sent back for fees. Beyond all, they may not qualify from that school of your choice.
The Lord Jesus Christ, in the story about the cost of following him, hits on poor planners stating, “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it?” Why should you begin a foundation and fail to complete it? Won’t they ridicule you? (Lk. 14:28,29)
You are at liberty to choose a school for your child or yourself with the scales of your priority, the academic standard of the school, the student’s potential, the moral values of the school and your financial ability. The question to answer is, will your child be brought up in a holistic manner? Have interest in whoever you entrust your child with and don’t be a victim of poor planning otherwise, your goals won’t be achieved.
Benjamin Franklin, one of the US founding fathers and diplomat puts it clear, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Plan now and vet that school!
Mumbe is a Theologian, Educator and Pastor
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