Saturday, August 23, 2014

Meet the parents!! From Blaming to Acting

Today was an open day at the school. Parents of about 25 out of around 125 turned up. 

Discussions for the most part centered around  "The fact that only 25 out of 120 turned up. and how that showed lack of responsibility from the parents side","Why parents should do more...", "Believe me, I even beat him a lot, it tears my heart. But it still doesn't work!!", "Why the school is not doing enough",  "How parents somehow send the kid to school, but teachers don't seem to give any homework", "How kids lie about the homework even if teachers give it". The blames were evidence of a lot of good intentions, but no solutions. But that's normal. Arnab Goswami does the same on Indian prime time after all!! The sad thing is not that we do it, but that we think its enough. 

When I got the chance to speak after about half an hour, tried to convey the following points:
- I do not care about the 100 parents who did not turn up. But a big thanks to the 25 parents who DID. 
- We have to focus on these 25 kids for now. Rest will happen when the parents want to. 
- So far, our discussion were centered around the question: "Why this kid CANNOT move ahead. And how its not MY fault". We can keep doing that for the next 50 years. Or turn the question to "HOW CAN this kid move ahead? Is there anything WE can do?" 

When we tried to get specific, it boiled down to just 2 top points:
1. Kids coming in late to classes: So even the extra classes effort gets wasted. One parent said that she makes sure she sends her kid out at the right time, but he goes elsewhere. His dad screams, beats him too - but it doesnt work. We suggested that for 7 days next week, can she personally drop her kid to school(she does not work). And then we can see what happens. (My feeling is when the kid sees his mom really cares, he will start too.)
2. Inability of the parents to check homework: Most of them are illiterate. I said maybe they cannot check the correctness of the homework, but they can check WHETHER they have done the homework. A simple homework table at the end of each book will help. PArents can tick it if the homework is done.

I repeated that if they have any more problems, NOW is the chance to speak up. 

Action items:
- The school will implement this homework system by 5th septemeber. 
- Nominated one of the parents to check back with us if we don't. Hold me, the school accountable (The underlying aim is to make everybody part of the solution than the problem)

Hope we are able to take small but sure steps ahead. The potential these kids have is just too much to waste!!

No comments:

Post a Comment