Students must manage schoolwork, not parents

I have two school-going children, and am a member of chat groups with the parents of the students in my children's classes.

It disturbs me to see how involved parents are in their children's school lives.

They ask questions about the day's homework, what their child needs to take for a lesson the next day, and the dates of swimming class.

Teachers also tend to contact the parent when a child did not hand in his homework or forgot to take a textbook, and ask that the parent remind the child the next day.

All this is a double-edged sword.

I have nothing personally against such practices. However, these are responsibilities that the children should be assuming, and not their parents.

With parents assuming the role of reminding a child to take his textbook or homework to school, the child is not going to take ownership of his work.

Furthermore, if the teacher is sending messages to all the parents in class and engaging in multiple to-ing and fro-ing with each parent, how is the teacher to focus on teaching effectively?

Schools should teach students to self-manage their work, with minimal parental involvement, and to deal with the consequences should they fail to remember to complete or take their work.

Parents should not be involved in their child's daily schoolwork unless there is an absolute need.

Teachers, too, should let their students be independent, rather than pass the responsibility to the parents.

After all, in the real world, who is going to remind the child should he fail to remember what he is supposed to do?

Clara Chua Sieo Peng (Ms)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 27, 2017, with the headline 'Students must manage schoolwork, not parents'. Print Edition | Subscribe