Concerns raised by some parents about the new directive by a number of private schools requiring Standard IV and VII pupils to study on boarding basis shows that there is a breakdown of communication between management and parents.
It is imperative that any information concerning the wellbeing of pupils at school be well communicated to parents or guardians. The compulsory boarding, with all its merits, is an arrangement that requires parents to prepare themselves financially in order to be able to afford it.
It is important that parents be given ample time to come up with a good financial plan to cover all costs.
As one parent pointed out, in some private schools, the school fees have almost doubled following the change of study arrangement.
It’s not just the financial aspect that is a point of concern, the day scholars schedule has also drastically changed. Students are expected to start studies as early as 6am, and then end with night preps at 10pm (with breaks in between).
The need for better communication between the management of private schools and parents, has been further empathised by Benjamin Nkonya, chairperson of private schools owners in the country.
Speaking about the new development requiring Standard IV and VII pupils to study on boarding basis, he advised school managements to take an extra initiative of educating parents on the merits and demerits of such an arrangement.
Parents who can afford to pay the required added expenses attached to boarding studies should do so, and those who can’t should be given a clear alternative on how their children can still attain the best education possible.
The eventual goal is to ensure that all students pass national examinations with flying colours. As such, anything targeted towards achieving that goal requires all parties concerned to be in tandem when it comes to decision making.