Tue, 12 Sep 2023 Opinion

Many Are In School, But Few Are Learning (2)

By Precious Bonsu
The Role of Teacher and Teaching QualityThe Role of Teacher and Teaching Quality

The linchpin of any successful educational system is its teachers. A skilled, dedicated educator has the power to shape the minds of generations to come.

It is they who ignite the spark of curiosity, who guide students through the intricacies of knowledge, and who serve as mentors and role models.

Investing in teacher quality is an investment in the future. It means providing professional development opportunities, offering competitive salaries, and recognizing the invaluable contribution teachers make to society.

When we elevate the status of educators, we elevate the quality of education itself. By shifting the focus from curriculum prestige to the quality of teaching, we empower educators to be the true architects of a child’s educational journey.

A dedicated and skilled teacher can take any curriculum and turn it into a transformative experience that shapes a child’s future.

Nutritional Foundations for Educational Success

A well-fed body is a well-prepared mind. Proper nutrition is crucial for a child’s learning and growth. Hungry minds struggle to thrive making it our collective responsibility to ensure every child has access to nutritious meals.

Leading nations in education offer free, highly nutritious meals, at least for lunch, to their students.

This is why many, myself included, believe that student performance remains high compared to peers in countries where meals, if provided, lack the necessary nutritional value for physical and cognitive development.

In Ghana, for example, parents often lament the poor quality of meals, especially in public schools. How can children learn effectively when they are hungry or malnourished? Schools play a pivotal role.

They must provide balanced meals and healthy snacks, creating an environment where children can focus on learning, not their empty stomachs. Prioritizing nutrition lays the groundwork for a brighter, more nourished future.

Emotional Support and Peer Interaction
Education is not solely an intellectual pursuit; it is also a social and emotional one. A supportive, inclusive environment is essential for a child’s holistic development.

Peers, teachers, and the broader school community all play a part in creating this nurturing ecosystem. By fostering a culture of empathy, respect, and understanding, we enable children to thrive not only academically, but also emotionally.

We equip them with the tools to navigate challenges, build meaningful relationships, and become compassionate global citizens.

I strongly suggest school leaders and policymakers to consider reintroducing ethics education, values and principles training as well as patriotism to foster teach children how to effectively and sustainably care for, value and protect themselves, others and the environment they live in.

The Crucial Role of Parental Involvement
The partnership between parents and educators is the cornerstone of a child’s educational journey. When parents are actively engaged in their child’s learning, the impact is profound. It means attending parent-teacher conferences, asking about their day, and taking an interest in their studies.

Research consistently shows that parental involvement is a key predictor of a child’s academic success and future career achievements. It is a powerful force that reinforces the importance of education in a child’s life.

Academic Success vs. Career Success
Ultimately, the true measure of an education lies not in exam scores, but in the lives students lead after they leave the classroom.

Academic success is but a stepping stone to a fulfilling, prosperous future. A well-rounded education equips students with the skills, values, and knowledge they need to excel in their chosen paths.

It prepares them to be lifelong learners, adaptable problem-solvers, and contributors to society.

In the pursuit of education, let us not be swayed by superficial trappings.

Let us recognize that the heart of learning lies in dedicated teachers, nurturing environments, engaged parents, and a curriculum that fosters a love for knowledge.

It is in these foundational elements that we find the true essence of education, shaping not only students’ academic journeys, but their lives beyond the classroom.

A Call to Action Despite socioeconomic barriers and other challenges in achieving quality and inclusive education for all (UN SDG4), the way forward is clear. It commences with us—parents, educators, and communities. It’s time to shift our focus and channel our efforts towards what truly counts. Let’s expect more from our educational institutions, not in lavish infrastructure, but in the caliber of teaching, in instilling a passion for learning, and in cultivating environments that foster the all encompassing growth of our children. This encompasses acquiring knowledge, gaining the wisdom to apply it, and receiving character education to lead fulfilling lives and make a positive impact on the world.

By Precious Bonsu, Education Expert & Author