A family is often considered the most important foundation for a child. A family is where a child learns their material and ethical values. The learned values from a child’s home undoubtedly influence their perspectives of the world.
In other words, the family is the child’s first educational opportunity. That’s why it is unsurprising to hear that studies have shown that parental involvement in a child’s early education has a significant impact on their learning outcomes. At Effect.org, we fully acknowledge that the participation of parents and caregivers is essential in our quest to provide quality education.
In October 2016, the Effect Expeditions team along with volunteers from Adobe, Google, and Salesforce, visited Effect Schools in Delhi to find solutions for one of our biggest barriers – lack of parental involvement in schools and child’s education.
Language barriers, limited education for parents, lack of rapport between parents and teachers, and the inability of the parents to understand curriculum were some of the reasons for this disconnect.
Overcoming this barrier became a focus for Effect Expedition volunteers Kerry from Google, Ann from Google, and Kamlesh from Adobe created P.E.T – Parent Engagement with Teachers. The team worked on bridging the engagement gap between parents and teachers using existing and new communication methodologies to ensure holistic learning for each child in school as well as at home.
To support parents, P.E.T. developed a Parent Packet – a handbook consisting of all information a parent needs to know about their child’s school. And to further engage parents and students, the team gave us inputs on how to use social media, like Facebook and YouTube, to effectively communicate with our parents.
The ideas were super helpful and we’re headed into 2017 with the intention of implementing each idea into action. Our goal is to provide all essential school information to parents in a manner that is easy for them to understand and engage with. Our focuses include:
- Relationships. Developing the parent-teacher relationship is essential for P.E.T. to succeed. That’s why we are committing to hosting Parent Teacher Meetings every 45 days. These regular meetings will help foster relationships and direct lines of communication between the parents and teachers. In addition, Effect.org is developing a Parent Teacher Association framework that will foster engagement through events, fundraising, and training.|
- Community. The classrooms are not the only places where our Effect School community is growing. To encourage parents to participate, we are creating a robust activity calendar that includes workshops and trainings for parents. We recently hosted our first workshop which helped parents learn how to do ‘Cashless Transactions’ for their expenses.
- Communication. To help facilitate communication and information sharing, we are creating a WhatsApp group for parents and their respective class teachers. Most importantly, we are drafting content for the Parent Packet Handbook, which will include the day-to-day and yearly school schedule, news, parenting tips, and ways to get engaged with the school. This booklet will be key in supporting our parent’s involvement with their child’s education.
Our central focus is to ensure our students succeed and have the best education possible. Thanks to the Effect Expedition volunteers who developed P.E.T., we now have a clear pathway to better engage the most influential people in the children’s lives – their parents and teachers.
Education is a lifelong experience, and when a child feels that their community is involved in their education, they are more likely to thrive.