What To Look Out For When Choosing School – Educators

As schools resume in a few days, some educators have identified key issues parents should look out for when choosing a school for their children.

Every parent wants the best educational experience for their child, however, failure to put the child in the appropriate learning environment could suppress the gifts and excellence in the child.

As such, in an interview with The PUNCH, CEO, Soams Creative Education & Consultant, Mrs Oyindamola Sonola, said parents should choose quality schools that would make learners happy, socially and emotionally well adjusted, with fear of God and sense of value for their nation when they become adults.

Sonola added that the school philosophy, curriculum, a child’s needs and interests, teaching and learning style, student-teacher ratio, safety and security to mention a few were some of the factors parents should also consider.

She advised, “Be sure the philosophy aligns with yours so there is no clash of interest. While the curriculum is a criterion, the school should also provide opportunities to help develop your child’s physical, cognitive, non-cognitive skills and overall personality. A perfect blend of curricular and co-curricular studies is vital for the holistic development of students. You must take into account your child’s strengths, weaknesses, and interests while researching schools. These are critical to your choice of school. Asking some questions can help here, does your child have any special learning needs? Does the school have facilities and a curriculum that considers such needs? Is the school into the arts? Do they love sports? Are they interested in science? Is your child struggling with math? Parents should look for a school that will cater to the child’s individual needs, encourage their strengths, and help them work on their weaknesses. Small class sizes are known to have a positive effect on children’s learning. In periods of insecurity that we are at present, it is better to put your child in schools that the travel time is short and ensure the school is well secured and has all safety regulations and standards in place.”

Similarly, the CEO of Gemseed Children Academy, Gbagada, Lagos, Mary Ohagwasi, also advised parents to check if the value of a school aligned with their own values and expectations for their wards.

“The school infrastructure and ambience are it suitable for your ward’s learning and care. It is important to know what the school stands for; academic excellence, sports, skills both life and soft skills, Strong parents and teachers community, it is important to know if the fees are affordable and can be sustained. What is the quality of school personnel, especially the teachers, this can be discovered by connecting with the school community and for children going to secondary school, find out if the school is government approved, skills they impact and results of past external exams,” she said.

The Brand Manager/Business Development Coordinator, OrgLearning Consult, Mr Chigozie Ntamere, explained that the performance of the school in external examinations should be a major factor to look out for, adding that parents could also discuss with the schools’ management before taking a decision.

He said, “Perceived moral standards of the institution, scope of the academic curriculum, quality of teachers and staff, scope of extra-curricular activities and how it’s blended with the main school curriculum, the facilities available (classrooms, laboratories, library, computers, recreational facilities, restrooms) are important factors. Also, an open-house session can be organised for parents and prospective customers.”

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