Parents’ engagement is a collaborative relationship between the school, teachers, and parents to contribute to the learning process and overall school development. Covid-19 has caused a shift in parent engagement resulting in poor fee payment, low participation in school meetings, lack of accountability, lack of awareness about their role, dropouts, delayed enrollment, and disruption in school operations.
Here are some benefits of parent engagement :
1. Improvement in academic achievement in affordable private schools:
Prolonged school closure has adversely influenced students’ reading, writing skills, and overall academic performance in affordable private schools. This caused a huge learning gap among students and here parents play an important role in bridging it and supporting students’ academic performance by participating in studies at home and addressing their queries.
Those who are unable to understand the content should be taught, which can help students by providing a quiet place for their studies and motivating them to succeed. As a result, children retain more interest in studies, feel more accountable for their homework, which has improved their grades and test scores, and develop confidence and a sense of personal competence in learning. 52% of students perform better due to high parental engagement than without.
2. Post covid retention in affordable private schools:
Currently, affordable private schools face major issues like dropout, low retention, and migration. Data shows that in 2020-2021 the student enrollments declined by 3 million compared to 2019-2020 while the enrolment in government schools rose by 3.97 million at the same time.
Parents’ engagement with the school can help retain students. Parents who are consistently involved in school meetings and the child’s homework are more likely to know about school interventions, the child’s academic needs and performance, and foster a learning environment that helps to increase attendance, reduce dropouts, and ensure timely enrollment. Regularly engaged parents can help attract and support “hard to reach” families which reduce the future risk of migration.
3. Improved classroom behaviour in private schools:
During the pandemic and school closure, students faced many mental health issues like stress, anxiety, and low confidence which were reflected as several behavioural issues in post covid classrooms.
Parents who are continuously engaged with teachers receive feedback about the child’s progress and behaviour in the classroom and they are also more likely to accept if there is a behavioural issue with their child and work towards improving it. Also, effective parents’ engagement changes students’ attitudes toward school, which in turn uplifts student self-esteem and confidence.
When students understand there is a direct connection between parents and teachers they behave less aggressively, obey and respect teachers, and reduce inappropriate behaviour like bullying. Also, they are more likely to respect school property, avoid side talk, and be punctual, which ensures discipline.
4. Better cash flow in affordable private schools:
Covid disrupted fee collection in affordable private schools, as a majority of schools across India have reported up to 20-50% decrease in revenue. The schools can plan for the future only when they are back to pre-pandemic revenue levels.
A good relationship between parents and the school can help address this issue to some extent, as when parents show maximum involvement it becomes easy to understand parents’ background, needs, and genuineness, so the school can make a fee collection plan accordingly.
Also, parents become aware of school interventions and their impact on their children’s growth which motivates them to make fees payment a priority.
Also, constant involvement helps in promoting a sense of belonging and trust in schools. NEP 2020 emphasizes the use of technology in schools, which means there will be a need for educational software and e-learning programs in the future, and parents can help schools raise funds for such programs.
5. Social-emotional benefits for students of affordable private schools:
The pandemic highlighted the need for social and emotional skills among people. According to research students engaged in the SEL programs showed 9% improvement in classroom behavior and 11% improvement in academics.
Parent’s engagement in class meetings helps teachers spread awareness about SEL and its impact on child growth. Well-engaged parents can help teachers develop a questionnaire regarding SEL, and give feedback on the child’s emotional growth.
They can also participate in activities at home or school, to help students identify emotions and regulate them which in turn contributes to building social value and compassion, and good relationships with teachers and peers. This helps in effective classroom management and helps to improve parents’ social and emotional skills as well.
6. Impact on the overall development of affordable private schools:
Apart from an educational point of view, a school needs support for smooth functioning as well. Well-engaged parents support teachers in designing and implementing various educational programs and help school staff and educators solve problems and make decisions.
Active parents volunteer for contributing through these skills, help in creating the school policies, and also get a chance to interact with other parents. Engaged parents are more likely to respect school interventions and policies. Parents’ engagement also helps schools in building a community and marketing the school.
7. Increases educator morale in affordable private schools:
Teachers receiving high engagement from parents are more likely to experience higher morale and are focused more on fostering children’s interests and abilities. Teachers acquire a deeper understanding of family culture and students’ needs.
Most parent engagement initiatives tend to improve communication and relationship between parents and teachers. Parents volunteering in studies, classroom behaviour management, and classroom activities also tend to increase teachers’ job satisfaction and confidence.
After all, effective parents’ engagement is directly proportional to the school’s holistic growth.