Finding a school for your Child can be as tasking as finding an apartment, even more tasking.
Parents who don’t want to gamble with their childrens future must investigate prospective schools in order to ensure the school they pick is the right one.
We know it can be a cumbersome task for parents, especially first time parents, to know just exactly what features to look out for in a school. Below is a list put together by the team at Edusko (an educational body) and our team, to provide some help to parents.
1. Excellent learning environment
A good learning environment is essential. Your ward needs a serene place to concentrate. Ensure the school is not located in a noisy industrial area and is shielded from outside influence. Yes, also ensure it has a good ambience and is not crowded. If it is a boarding school, find out their routine, see their rooms and reading space. A pretty place is as important as a comfortable place.
2. Professional staff
Some private schools employ unprofessional staff to cut costs. This can impact negatively on your child(ren). The right school should have passionate professional teachers. Teachers who are trained in the profession and have experience with children. Also, teachers who can speak well; good understanding of the English language. Children learn fast and can pick up bad language from teachers who can’t speak proper grammar.
3. Staff Welfare
It is important to know how well the school takes care of its staff. You can find out from one of the teachers or ask at least three to be sure of accurate feedback. A happy teacher is a motivated teacher and a motivated teacher spreads love to the children. Besides, you do not want your child(ren) having 3 different English teachers in one session. It not only confuses them, it deactivates them.
4. Appropriate facilities
It is important that the facilities are top notch and up to date. Things to look out for are well equipped laboratories and library. A good computer room with internet connectivity, interactive boards or screens in the classroom, good sporting facilities to exercise mind and body plus opportunity for excursions and trips to relevant places in the world –local and international. These are essential for the development of your child(ren)’s talents.
5. Student-teacher ratio
Ensure that the schools are not under staffed. It is essential that a teacher is not teaching more than two subjects at two different levels. This can create confusion in a child and the teacher will also not be specialized. Good schools should be child-oriented rather than profit-oriented. A child-oriented school would employ qualified teachers in order to meet the needs of each student. It’s been recommended that a classroom shouldn’t contain more than 20 students at a time.
Manners are learnt first from home, and then in school. A discipline-oriented school raises disciplined children. It is important that a school teach manners and abide by rules. Rules that guide the children to become good citizens, good children and fosters a good community. A disciplined school also ensures its staff is disciplined and teachers take their job seriously. They have good control over their class without being aggressive and ensure they are present often. Non-academic staff should also be disciplined as the children also come in contact with them. You will know this when you visit the school. The reaction of the children and staff will determine its level of discipline.
7. Two way Communication
It is important that parents and guardians are involved in important decision-making process on matters that affect the well-being of students. Parent Teacher Association (PTA) should be a standard practice in good schools. Find out how involved you will be in making academic and non-curricular decisions that involves the children. A good communication system between the parents and the school is essential. Ensure they take the opinion of parents seriously and carry all stakeholders along in the progress and development of the school.
8. School’s image
A school with a good reputation can’t be hidden. A good reputation means good academic records, numerous awards and achievements. They will have a high number of graduating students who pass national exams with flying colors. You want your child to learn and be the best so a school with a reputation for excellence is essential.
9. School Activities
Look into the extra curriculum activities of the school. Like the saying goes, all work and no play makes…. It is important a school understands balance in a child’s life. This is essential as some children easily lose focus and/or develop anti-social behavior. Extra curriculum activities also boost a child’s morale and uncovers/builds hidden talents. Fun activities breed happy children and happy children learn fast.
10. A loving principal
The school is the principal and the principal is the school. The principal can also be known as proprietor, proprietress, headmaster or headmistress. This is the leader of the school. As we know, leadership means a lot. A loving leader spreads love across the school. This love resonates in the teachers, non teaching staff and the children. He/she needs to be approachable and disciplined. The success of the school is a reflection of the Principal.
To carry out thorough investigation, I recommend you look at schools where you know a parent or two to find out more concrete information. One thing though, before you approach the parents, look at the children; are they intelligent, do they speak good English and are they disciplined?
Being a parent is serious business. Wish you and your child(ren) a beautiful academic season.