Parental guidance required to curb school drop-outs

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Lack of parental assistance hampers children’s interest in education, says expert

Dropout rates in schools have increased due to the lack of parental assistance in India.

The Annual Status of Education Report (ASER), 2021 shows a drop in parental assistance at home from 74.9 percent in 2020 to 66.6 percent in 2021. This potentially contributes to the 18.19 percent increase in dropout rates of children in classes 1–5.

“Without parents’ involvement in their study schedule, children tend to lose interest very quickly. Children in classes 1–5 tend to get deviated without a guiding hand. It is important for parents to sit with children while studying as this makes them confident and efficient,” said Atakshi Sharma, a teacher at St. George’s School.

A study on the Conditions Affecting Neurocognitive Development and Learning in Early Childhood (CANDLE) focuses on the impact   on a child’s education. It states that helping children with studies is a form of caregiving and a lack of this can cause less motivation and interest.

Shruti, a student from Delhi Public School said, “It was definitely difficult to concentrate during online classes. I just did not feel like studying anymore. My friends and I used to study together on video calls but it did not really help.”

Atakshi said that it is important to be a direct or an indirect part of a child’s study schedule. “Monitoring day-to-day activities, the child’s performance and keeping a track of the syllabus helps in keeping the child involved with studies,” she added.

Shilp Nidhi, a class 5 student said, “I take help from my mother for Hindi, and my father helps me with SST and maths. When my parents are a part of my study schedule, I feel very confident and motivated. They also encourage me to do better.”

Sushma, a parent, said that it is crucial for parents to be a part of their child’s study schedule. “Helping with homework and clarifying doubts increases personal bond as well as encourages them to study. Holding out a guiding hand only helps them become independent in the future by navigating them through the right path. This should be done till children finish their board exams,” she added.

Journal of Education and Practice research states that when parents involve themselves in the education process, the outcome is positive and encouraging.. It promotes a mutual understanding between the parents and children; and it provides a safe place to grow and succeed.

Arghya Suman, a class 2 student from St.Thomas school, said, “The pandemic was tough due to internet problems. I was not able to understand what the teacher was teaching due to connection issues. My parents aren’t involved in my studies as I have a tuition teacher. Sometimes I feel that I am dealing with a lot.”

“No support at home leads to a drop in grades as a house environment can result in lack of concentration and de-motivate children. Additionally, it might hamper the clarity in basic concepts and students’ performances,” said Atakshi.

Research reveals that high self-esteem and student achievement are closely related to positive parental involvement in school, states ‘A Desirable Parental Role’ by Joy Klepfer.

Athira Nair, educational psychologist said, “The role played by parents is not limited to help and support but also guidance. Social media exposure has led to students derailing from their studies. It is only parents who can help them back onto the right path. A lack in parental assistance can de-motivate children.”

The report also shows that migration, marriage, financial distresses were some of the reasons for an increase in the dropout rates. 

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