Abiodun Adelaja’s daughter, Seun, attends one of the highbrow schools on Harold Sodipo Crescent at Ikeja GRA. As a mother who has her daughter’s interest at heart, she always attend the Parents’/Teachers’ Association meetings including the school’s open day. However, she is beginning to have a rethink on how deeply she should be involved in her child’s school. Her reason? “Some parents’ attitudes are just annoying,” she tells me angrily. “Imagine a parent asking the school’s principal at a meeting after a law had been passed that students should only wear stud earrings and nothing more; ‘can my daughter wear a diamond stud earring?’ she says mimicking the woman’s accent.”
Adelaja’s grouse is why should a parent ask, what she describes as, an unintelligent question. “Stud earring is stud earring,” she adds. “Whether it is made of diamond or not is not anyone’s business. It is sad that parents are encouraging their children to wear expensive shoes, earrings and necklaces to school. It just shows how much parents indulge their children in a vain style of living and it is sad. It is also sad that parents don’t ask intelligent questions anymore at PTA meetings as they always look for every avenue to flaunt their wealth and position in the society.”
This trend is becoming a cause for worry for parents like Adelaja who complains that some rich parents are overindulging their children and encouraging them to take up bad habits and are creating a club of wealthy parents in school thereby neglecting the welfare of their children. This trend is making some parents have a rethink on whether they should be deeply involved in their children’s PTA meetings.
In spite of this ugly trend in private schools, a school of thought argues that a better involvement of parents is one of the most important ways to improve a child’s performance in school. According to Temilade Oladipupo, a parent’s involvement in a child’s academic activities especially PTA meetings, Open day, Inter-house Sport among others make an enormous impact on students’ attitude, and academic achievements.
To bring about a positive change, observes Oladipupo, parents must create enough time to be a part of their children’s education. “Most schools have provided the right platform for this to be possible,” says Oladipupo. “For instance, in the school where I teach, there are sporting activities specially designed for parents to participates in during Inter-House Sport. Having ‘social clubs’ among affluent parents is not a new thing. But each parent must be guided by values which he or she must pursue. It is not compulsory for a parent who does not want to be a part of this group of affluent to be a part of them.”
Eniola Orelaja, a parent, says in a bid to checkmate the excesses of her two children, she has enforced some of the rules her parents laid down while she was growing up. “I was brought up with strong moral values and I am already ensuring that my children follow the same path.
For example, I don’t encourage my children to sleep over at their friend’s home. I never did that as a child. Likewise, I ensure that as a parent, I move with the right set of parent who share my beliefs and values. I am not a vain person and I am attracted to intelligent people.”
However, Arinola Solaja says no matter how bad the situation may be in a school, parents must never trade the welfare of their children for nothing hence they must be involved in activities that will be of immense benefits to their. “The school will not be the only one to benefits parent’s involvement. By offering their time to the school, and by interacting with teachers, administrators, and other parents on a regular basis, parents will have a first-hand understanding of their child’s daily activities and some insight into the trends school life that will help them to communicate with their children.”