Final examinations have begun for the matric class of 2019. These children are going through one of the biggest tests of their lives – are they adequately prepared?
This is not just a journey for the student, but also a test for parental responsibility: are parents helping their young to carry the baton? Are the children supported by parenting structures?
What happens when children fail? Are parents accountable?
I too was a teenager. My parents would say one thing and I would do the opposite – but while letting their little bird fly, when it came to school, behaviour, respect and discipline, I was reined in faster than I shrugged my shoulders.
Those aspects of my life were non-negotiable. There were expectations for me – and they were mandatory.
Fast-forward to today: parents just don’t seem to care. How do we then expect our students to care?
Parents nowadays jump up and down when the pass mark is reduced to 30% – but what are they doing to compel basic education to reconsider when students keep failing because there are no parenting structures that support the schooling system?
While parents fill the shisanyama and car washes on Sundays, who is preparing school children for new school weeks? I wish parents were as excited by the mundane activity of an ordinary school day as they are about the glitz and glam of matric dances .
The government provides every child with the opportunity to attend primary and secondary education, free of charge. In these formative schooling years, they will encounter no less than 12 teachers, each a builder in the foundation of the kids’ lives.
But are we, as parents, egging on our kids to dream – not only dream, but to dream big?
I dreamed to be a helper of people and by hard work and determination – no matter the challenges – that dream is a reality.
Work was required: hard, life-altering, character-building, soul-wrenching work, accompanied by sweat and tears. I knew my parents believed in me.
But where are the other parents who are the support structure in their children’s education?
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