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Opinions of Sunday, 6 September 2015

Columnist: Eyiah, Joseph Kingsley

The school year begins again!

Opinion Opinion

Education is supposed to make one’s life better! School education is an organized enterprise that uses the ‘classroom’ to promote teaching and learning to give knowledge for life. This enterprise gives teachers and students a break (long vacation) at the end of the school year. The school year begins again in August and September in most countries around the world.

Students are happy to go back to school, many to be with their friends whose company they have missed for long time. That notwithstanding, this is a time of promise when students are full of great intentions. Everyone hopes to get the top marks, never to miss classes, and to make sure all assignments are done and on time. Teachers are also happy because they are going back to the work they love to do most-teaching!

Going back to school after a long break is not a big issue in the western world, but in Ghana it is. So let’s encourage our youth roaming the streets or working as shoe-shine boys, and as prostitutes in Ghana as well as factory hands in Toronto and elsewhere to go back to school. It is better to get our kids back to school and stay in school during the school year.

During the long break from school kids become used to sleeping late and with a lot less scheduling. Parents must therefore, put the kids back on track by thinking routine, routine! Kids (students) ought to have enough hours of sleep the night before they go to school.

They must therefore, sleep early and not be allowed to stay long hours into the night watching TV or playing video games. The Clinical Psychologist Dr. Elaine Ducharme advises parents to help kids get back in the groove and avoid chaos in the morning!

Perhaps most parents become very happy when it’s September. That’s the time they “ship” their children (with all the headaches they give them at home) back to school and for that matter to the teacher after the long school break.

This assumption notwithstanding, parents still have a lot to do for their children and those who teach their kids if we want a successful school year for our children.

Please parents, interest yourselves in your children’s education. Save some few dollars on bottles and on fashion for your children’s education. Use those dollars and cedis to buy education insurance for your children’s future. It is very disheartening to see parents, especially Ghanaian parents who receive child support from governments of the western world spending such money on fashion and parties instead of investing such monies in their children’s future.

I know diapers and children’s food could be expensive (thank God, in Canada the government has increased the child benefits for children up to the age of 17 years old), more often than not, monies received for child support are not wisely used by parents. Some parents even fail to supply their children with basic back to school materials such as pencils, pens, erasers and exercise books and still expect their children to do well at school!

What about parents who feel so rushed in the morning? What can they do to make things easier for them? Dr. Elaine Ducharme suggests the following:

1. Prepare what you can ahead of time
2. On week-end make extras of things like waffles, pancakes, muffins for breakfast and put in the freezer.
3. Even some lunches can be frozen in individual portions. But at least make lunches the night before
4. Pick out clothes the night before
5. Pack book bag the night before

I also advise that parents supervise or monitor their children’s homework from school each night right at the beginning of the school year. Such early parental supervision of the child’s school work at home would leave no room for laziness on the part of your kids when it comes to school work.

The early bird catches the worm! Check your child’s school planner every time he/she returns from school if possible. Make this possible and start as soon as the school year begins!