There’s an African saying that “Only a parent would wish their child to be better than them in every nicety that life has to offer – beauty, intelligence, education, security, wealth and health.”
Parents, rich or poor and of any nationality and background, want their children to succeed. In this country, education is more than just a child’s right – it is compulsory, with penalties for those who do not ensure their children receive the standard of education that the law requires.
How then can we best help our children when many, if not most, of African heritage come from non-English speaking homes, and may require some form of extra support with their schooling?
As an African Australian parent, I am grateful for the opportunities this country offers, and, like many others, I am keen too see my children succeed.
My attitude towards my own kids’ education changed positively after reading an article by the school chaplain in their school’s weekly newsletter, which encouraged parents to become involved and interested in their education – outlining such simple questions like ‘How was school?’
That article made me a fan of the school’s newsletter, and I became a Parent & Citizen (P&C) Representative on the school board. I’m proud to say I participate in as many of the school’s activities as I can.
When I became involved my kids appreciated my efforts and it lifted their confidence – making them proud to be part of the school community.
You can all do the same – the first step is the hardest – but I’m sure you will find everyone will benefit, and remember, our children are the future, and Australian schools are there to shape that future.
By Amadu Barrie, Canberra