| Siti Hajar |
IN THE 100 years of formal education in the country, the nation’s educational system has experienced a number of significant ups and downs that has shaped an institution that initiates exploration to deliver the best possible results for the betterment of society as a whole.
As a testament to the educational journey that has recently witnessed marked improvements in the government primary school system with results that were made public earlier in the week indicates what could be the beginning of further positive changes especially for children during their crucial developmental years.
Among several schools that significantly impressed with their progress that saw a 93.1 per cent improvement rate within a year include the OKBI Subok Primary School that has, in an interview with its principal and the Kota Batu penghulu, adopted the adage ‘It takes a community to raise a child’.
What has been considered a success story that reflects how invested efforts can influence even bigger changes, the school’s accomplishment was a result of stressing the importance of not just parents’ role but also the role of village members for the betterment of the community’s children and their future as a whole.
“We involve our parents and members with a number of activities that are not just limited to the classroom,” explained principal Harifah Khalijah Mohammad, which includes motivational talks, invites to schools for parents to see their children’s work, blood donation and cleaning campaigns for the school and village gravesites, mass prayers and sports activities by way of facilitating a more inclusive society for stakeholders across the board.
“This gave us a lot of bonding and communal opportunities and parents were always notified of the on-goings of our school either through letters or by phone,” she said as she also explained that support from the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) whose members that also comprise several village leaders who have also contributed to the school’s overall achievement.
Through their several activities, she said, “We make our objectives clear and the children as our top priority.”
As a voice to represent other parents who also cater to the needs of their children’s education, as a member of the school’s PTA, Penghulu Naim bin Haji Kamis shared that the initiative had stemmed from cooperation from the children’s parents with the emphasis on the importance of “bringing up the children to their full potential”.
“Once we had a clear objective, we conducted meetings that were flexible enough for parents to show up at the school and express their concerns”, highlighting the need for those involved to go beyond their own comfort to better accommodate matters that are more central in the country’s human resource agenda.
Though such an undertaking may seem straightforward especially taking into consideration the involvement of children, the initiative did come with its own sets of challenges with the most frequent obstacle being the main players in this quest for change.
“We had to come up against parents who were less concerned with the percentage of school attendance, academic progress and personal development of their children in school and at home”, with reasons that varied from long working hours to familial and personal issues, the principal lamented.