Mutual respect and trust are the foundation of a new set of Ministry of Education (MOE) guidelines on how parents and schools can work together for a child's benefit.
They include points on how parents and schools can cooperate to help children pick up self-management skills, build resilience and take responsibility and ownership of their learning.
While MOE is making shifts in the system to better help students develop the joy of learning and to be lifelong learners, meaningful school-home partnerships will ensure that children benefit fully from the changes, said Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Education Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim at yesterday's announcement at Yu Neng Primary School.
Dr Faishal said the partnership is focused on helping children understand how school is relevant to the rest of their lives, such as why they study certain subjects and take part in co-curricular activities.
The guidelines highlight several areas for parents:
• To communicate regularly with teachers about the academic and non-academic aspects of their children.
• To check how teachers prefer to communicate, as they are not required to share their mobile numbers with parents and may not be able to respond to queries immediately. When disagreements happen between students, parents should let the school verify the facts before taking any action.
• To create a conducive home environment for children to read and to do their homework on their own.
At the same time, the guidelines encourage a healthy, balanced lifestyle for the children, with sufficient time for them to sleep and play. Time management is also emphasised, with parents encouraged to get their children involved in household chores.
The guidelines will be shared with parents through the schools, and schools will align their practices with the new guidelines this year. Each school will have to figure out how to apply them within its own context and environment.
Dr Faishal added: "Our children do best when schools and parents work hand-in-hand to support them. We hope these guidelines on school-home partnership will be a useful reference for both teachers and parents, to help our children have ownership over their learning, develop a sense of purpose and succeed in life."