More important than income or social standing, having a parent or guardian that is involved in their education is a key factor in predicting children’s school success. Responding to requests from our young beneficiaries to have their parents play a more active role in their school and personal lives; SAEP recently held a collaborative parents’ workshop for caregivers of beneficiaries across three of its different programmes.
Parents formed small break-away groups to discuss real-life problem scenarios in their children’s lives.
“Learners in our Hope Scholars programme had actively voiced their desire to have their parents pay more attention to them and support them in their school work and we saw this as an opportunity to not only encourage active parent participation, but to bring all our parents together and, in this way, start to build a supportive network of parents across the Philippi community,”says Veronica Bavuma, SAEP Hope Scholars educator.
Held at Siyazakha Primary school where SAEP runs its Siyakhathala Primary programme, parents from this initiative as well as its Hope Scholars, Early Childhood Development and Arts Outreach programmes were invited to attend. And, supported by 40 caregivers, the event, which was guided by themes of connection and collaboration, was a success.
“Rather than giving speeches on parenting, we decided to break adults up into small groups and have them discuss real-life problem scenarios from their children’s lives. The scenarios highlighted the needs of their children, showed the important role that parents can play and encouraged the caregivers to work together to think of their own solutions to the situations,” continued Bavuma.
Parents face many challenges in participating in their children’s lives and their lack of involvement was confirmed by research conducted by two SAEP social work interns from the University of the Western Cape. Challenges include a lack of time, difficulty in saying no and difficulty in having open and honest conversations with their children. But, through the workshop and a short play highlighting just how their children crave and need their attention, SAEP staff are confident that they will begin to see behavior change in the many adults whose children they support.
Students from SAEP’s Arts Outreach programme performed a ten minute play for the attending parents.