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What to consider as you take child to a new school

Last month the nation received news about P7 results.

This was what every child and parent was waiting for from the time the social media started announcing that on 10th January, P7 results will be out, followed by S4 results later on.

Now some parents already know where they are taking their children depending on the marks and others for many other reasons, they are still thinking on where to take their children for the next four years or two years.

Luckily enough, these days there are so many schools both public and private and the competition is so high especially in academic performance.

This also goes with what you have to part with from your pockets per term. The academic performance of the school, quality and your child’s marks usually take the priority in selecting where to take your child.

However, some parents don’t usually pay critical attention to other considerations that are also fundamental which in one way or the other shape the future of your child’s career development. As a parent, think about the values the school will instill in your child.

These could range from spiritual, social, emotional values (beyond cognitive ones) that make up a fulfilled responsible adult in future. For example, I believe a school which does not recognize God as the creator of heaven and earth will never add any spiritual value to your child. Good school values coupled with good morals may result in better future professional ethics.

The government is targeting a middle-income status by 2020 and a lot of emphasis is put on science and technology so that we can increase people who are job creators rather than job seekers.

This calls for us to think much about schools which offer hands-on vocational training skills so that your child comes out of this school with not only academic theoretical knowledge but also practical skills which can be applied everywhere at anytime for survival and earning side-income.

“I want a child who will be taught to use his hands and thoughts. Let what they learn in class be only an additional ingredient that stimulates their minds to think because the things you impart in this child quite often are the things that you will end up adopting or even loving” says Ayub Mutaasa, the director of Upendo kindergarten Mukono.

Mutaasa believes that these days, the reason the country is having high rates of unemployment among youth is because of being taught for only “white-collar jobs.”

One parent who considers useful international schools told me; “My children go to an international school because I like the methodology: a student’s assessment is not based on examination results but also on the student’s progressive performance. Also students are not spoon-fed. They are encouraged to think through the work they are given. They are mainly given projects work instead of regular tests and they are not given too much homework. They are encouraged to read and understand.”

Remember, the learning environment around the school is vital for your child’s concentration. No parent would want to take his/her child to a school surrounded by drinking joints/bars, clubs and flooding places which put your child at risk.

The learning environment should be conducive enough to enable your child study successfully without distractions. Schools which promote extra- curricular activities like gardening, sports and games, athletics, and MDD are good.

These activities help to develop a creative and innovative child’s mind. In short, our children need a wholistic transformational career and personal development beyond only academic performance.

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