Family Involvement in Education – How it Can Benefit Your Child?

Parents should recognize that their children’s education is very important to his or her social, intellectual, and emotional development. Therefore, they should do whatever they can to improve their education. This means becoming actively involved in their education. Family involvement in education has shown to increase the child’s chances for success. When family becomes involved in a child’s education, lots of things are more likely to happen, such as their grades are more likely improve, they are more likely to attend school regularly, their social skills are more likely to become better, and they are more likely to graduate from high school and attend college.

What does family involvement in education mean? It means helping children with their schoolwork. This can also lead to the parents developing a closer bond with their children because they are spending quality time with them and showing them support. Therefore, becoming involved in a child’s education does not only serve to improve his or her educational experience. It also helps to strengthen the relationship that she or he has with his or her parents, which in turn strengthens the family structure. A more stable household will lead to better adjusted children.

Becoming involved in children’s education might also mean attending parent-teacher conferences or meetings. If they attend these meetings, parents can learn what their children are up to when they are not around, how they act around authority figures, etc. They might even be able to discover any problems that the child may be facing, which she or he has hidden from his or her parents. Therefore, family involvement in educations means parents becoming more involved in their children’s lives. They could find out stuff that they might not otherwise be able to find out on their own at home, either because the children do not do it at home or because the parents are too busy to notice.

Therefore, family involvement in education also has the added benefit of parents their children the attention that they need and showing them that they care about their children. Too much family involvement can become harmful, though. Doing your children’s projects for them or causing a scene in the principal’s office when they’ve been reprimanded for doing something bad would be going overboard. Family involvement means reading to the children, talking to the school, helping with their homework, and overall providing support to the children’s educational experience.

Education Meaning

Education is the term used to refer to learning by which knowledge, belief and habits as well as skills and values of one group of people is passed to another, from generation to generation through various aspects such as discussion, storytelling, teaching and training. It not only denotes the ‘formal transmission’ through these factors to a group of people but also ‘informal transmission’ from one person to another.

It is the system where learning takes place under the guidance of teachers and tutors; in the same way, those who teach can also educate themselves further. This is called ‘autodidactic learning’.

Education can also be used to denote ‘the knowledge gained from an experience that has an impacted effect on a person’s beliefs, thoughts, feelings and actions’.

The word ‘education’ has its origin from the Latin word ‘educatio’ used to refer to ‘a bringing up’. Broadly, ‘educo’ relates to the meaning “I train, I educate”; ‘educo’ itself is the combination of ‘e’ (from) and ‘duco’ (I conduct).

The ‘right to education’ is a fundamental right accorded to the citizens of many governments worldwide. The United Nations’ International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights endorses and recognizes the right to education for all the citizens. In most countries, education is compulsory for children up to a certain age. In developed and developing countries, formal education is that where children go to school to learn from qualified and skilled teachers. More often these days, school attendance is not always compulsory and that leads many parents to ‘home school’ or ‘home tutor’ their children with the assistance of either private teachers or through methods involving e-learning, which is the use of electronic material and technology to learn. This is a kind of informal learning.

The ‘art and science’ of education, which translates into ‘how best to teach’ is called Pedagogy. At school level, education is categorized into stages like preschool, primary, secondary, higher or tertiary etc while beyond school higher education is slotted into college and university and/or apprenticeship.

History of Education

In ancient history, there is the reference of the ‘Academy’ founded by Plato in Athens before 300 BC. The city of Alexandria, founded in 330 BC surpassed Athens as the ‘cradle of intellect’ in ancient Greece. The Library of Alexandria, a historical monument contained translations of the Bible from Hebrew to Greek under the patronage of mathematicians and astronomers like Euclid and Herophilus. The supremacy of the earliest European civilizations came to an end when the Roman Empire declined in 476 AD.

The focus then shifted eastward with the Chinese philosopher-scholar Confucius whose outlook on education and reforms influenced many south-east Asian nations like Korea, Japan and Vietnam. His teachings and discussions were recorded by his followers and his philosophies continue to exert influence to this day in many parts of Asia. In India, for instance, the gurukul tradition of teaching and learning where a teacher or trainer taught knowledge and skills to his ‘wards’ by living and training with the master in a community set up has continued in some form to this day at institutes and schools where fine arts, music and dance forms are taught.

In various regions around the world, adults of one generation trained the young of the following one in the knowledge, values and skills through oral teaching and through imitation prior to the birth of literary societies and skill sets. As cultures flourished, a system of formal education appeared to impart knowledge and skills; there is evidence of the presence of schools in Egypt in ancient days.

The Early Middle Ages saw the rise of the Catholic Church as the preserver of literary teaching and skills; many medieval universities of Christendom across Europe encourage freedom of thought, speech and enquiry producing a vast number of fine philosophers and scholars. Among the oldest continually operating universities of Europe, the University of Bologne is considered the first and the finest.

With the advent of the printing press in its earliest form, literary works of art and education flourished and spread more quickly through the continents. Missionaries and scholars, particularly the Jesuits played a significant role in the transmission of knowledge from Europe to Asia.

The Role of Globalized Education in Achieving the Post-2015 Development Agenda

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) have unquestionably been highly successful in bolstering governments’ commitment to poverty reduction, achieving basic education and health, promoting gender equality and environmental sustainability, and bridging the gaps in human development. In spite of these progresses, globalized education is still a requisite and the primary tool in achieving the Post-2015 Global Development Agenda – the continuation of effort to achieve prosperity, equity, freedom, dignity, peace and respect in a world of cultural and linguistic diversity after 2015.

The complexity of today’s globalized world has made development challenges interlinked. Peace cannot be achieved and prosperity cannot be sustained without finding unified, common and general solutions and without all nations contributing unanimously and with a sense of shared responsibility. The Millennium Development Goals which will be succeeded by the Post-2015 Development Agenda at the end of 2015 (United Nation’s 70th Anniversary) has framed sustainable development as a universal project. The post-2015 development agenda includes issues that are of common concern to all and pose challenges at national levels. Moreover, they define objectives to be achieved at the global level.

Before we delve deeper into the role of globalized education in achieving the post-2015 agenda, it will be apposite to have a proper understanding of the concepts that underpin the subject. Suffice it to say that education is both essential and indispensable for sustainable development. Globalized education fuels sustainable development as nations seek to transform their visions for the world into reality.

“Globalization,” as observed by Chang, “is the integration of national economies, culture, social life, technology, education and politics. It is the movement of people, ideas and technology from place to place.” Globalization affects all facets of life universally, scientifically, and technologically. Its effects are felt in world’s culture, economy, environmental, social and human disciplines. In its broadest sense, globalization refers to intensification of worldwide social relations which link distant localities in such a way that local happenings are shaped by events occurring many miles away and vice versa.

Education has been recognized as a fundamental human right for more than half a century now. It is the endless process of bringing up people to know themselves, their environment, and how they can use their abilities and talents to contribute in the development of their society. Education improves the mind of the student for ethical conduct, good governance, liberty, life and rebirth of the society the student finds himself. Education, as an agent of change, empowers its recipient to be creative. It is a form of learning in which the knowledge, skills, and habits of a group of people are transferred from one generation to the next through teaching, training and research. Any experience that has a formative effect on the way one thinks, feels, or acts may be considered educational.

Converse to the traditional way of teaching and learning, globalized education means adopting a universal, scientific, technological and a more holistic approach to education with the aim of preparing and equipping our young ones appropriately for sustainable development, and creating a peaceful and better world for this generation and posterity. Globalized education allows every child to acquire the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values to shape a sustainable future. It is, however, not culturally, religiously or geographically myopic. It is not racial or given to prejudice. In globalized education, schools do not function in isolation; they integrate with the world outside and expose students to different people and cultures, giving them the opportunity to appreciate cultural differences and what the planet offers, while respecting the need to preserve their culture and the natural and human resources that abound.

The Post-2015 Development Agenda refers to a process led by the United Nations (UN) that aims to help define the future development framework that will succeed the Millennium Development Goals. The recent UN development agenda is centered on the Millennium Development Goals that were officially established following the Millennium summit of the UN in 2000.

At this point, we can now advance our knowledge on the role of a sound and universal education in achieving this post-2015 development agenda which is expected to tackle and find suitable solutions to many issues.

As the world stands at an historical juncture, it calls for a truly transformational and universal education system that integrates the three dimensions of sustainability (economic, social and environmental) in all activities, addresses inequalities in all areas, respect and advance human rights, fosters love and peace, and that is based on credible, equitable and sustainable system and safe environment for learning.
There are, of course, many different ways in which globalized education can be beneficial and advance the future sustainable development goals. Sound, universal and quality education is not only a top priority but also a cross-cutting matter which is indicated and reflected under three other pivotal goals related to health, economic growth and climate change.

A good global education is the step – the first step in ensuring that these development goals are achieved. Education marked by excellence and a conducive and habitable environment are two hallmarks of our world today. What we are taught, what we learn and how we treat our environment are connected to so many other possibilities in achieving a peaceful society where poverty has no place.

Global education has a felt influence on environmental sustainability. Successful implementation and actual use of new, affordable technologies for sanitation in Africa came with education. Another evident example of how globalized education is helping to achieve environmental sustainability is from a reported Eco-school in the United Arab Emirates which was awarded Green Flag, a symbol of excellence in environmental performance. The students put forward important environmental friendly approaches and messages within and beyond their school community. This innovative thinking to make good use of available natural resources, neither exploiting nor abusing them, came about as a result of a sound learning process that changed their behavior and gave room for them to adopt sustainable lifestyles.

The problem of unemployment does not wholly emanate from the government. Part of it rests on the individual. Why do we go to school? To learn, yes! But far from this narrow-minded purpose is the need to acquire knowledge, a skill, and a know-how that can be applied to earn a living and live a sustainable lifestyle which has positive impact on the society. Though all educated persons are not rich, but each possesses a knowledge that can get him a job, or which he can use to create one. Hence, sound and excellent education with globalization as the driving wheel is a fundamental solution to poverty.

Moreover, there have been significant contributions of globalized education on the health sector. However, time and space will not permit us to have a detailed look at the impacts. Permit me to cite a report which states that “education of large numbers of community-based health workers reduced deaths from malaria by 66 percent in Zambia in six years.” With the right education in health technologies, medicine and other medically inclined fields and sciences, life expectancy will improve evenly and no country will be left behind.

Realizing the Post-2015 Development Agenda requires all hands to be on deck. The government alone cannot carry it. A fresh global partnership is to be forged. A new spirit of mutual accountability and cooperation must underpin the Post-2015 agenda so as to ensure uniform distribution of high quality educational materials to the poorest and least developed countries of the world. As we all know, access to computers and the internet and good conducive environment have become basic needs for education in our modern societies. This new alliance to finance and provide education to reach every child, even the ones in the streets, should be strictly based on a common understanding of our shared humanity, based on mutual respect and benefit. It should put people at the center including those affected by poverty and exclusion, women, youth, the aged, disabled persons, and indigenous people. Civil society organizations, local and national governments, multilateral institutions, the scientific and academic community, non-governmental organizations, businesses, and private philanthropy should come together and ensure that no one is left behind in getting globalized education for sustainable development. We must endeavor to see to it that every child, every individual, color or race notwithstanding gets the opportunity to receive a cost effective, high quality education, starting from prekindergarten to elementary and secondary, to special education, to technical and higher education and beyond. A popular Nigerian proverb says, “The upbringing of a child is not the sole responsibility of an individual but a communal responsibility.” Therefore, let us all answer the call and take up the rewarding task of ensuring a quality and universal education for all.

Without mincing words, we can aver that globalized education can help achieving the Post-2015 development goals. For our assertion to stand and remain factual we must consider the interrelations that exist between education and development as they share a symbiotic relationship. Governments, institutions, organizations and individuals must recognize the full potential of education as a requisite and catalyst for sustainable development, and act as such.

Conclusively, globalized education is a multi-dimensional process that ultimately transforms our people, our economy, and our dear planet. Truly, globalized education empowers people, transforms lives, and shapes the system that drives the progress of sustainability. It is the foundation and the only means for achieving peace in our societies. It fosters economic growth thereby reducing poverty. It is growth and life, and a means to achieving the Post-2015 sustainable development agenda.