Wednesday, August 8th 2007
By Alistair Owens
A global issue. The following comment were made by Patrick Manning Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago.
Prime Minister Patrick Manning says research has shown that parents have a vital role to play in reversing the ongoing trend of girls outperforming boys at school. He did not identify the research data to which he was referring, but Manning urged parents to pay particular attention to the education of their male children."Early intervention in the home is therefore most necessary. We must keep a careful eye on the boys as well," Manning said.
Manning was speaking less than two months after the results of the Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) examination taken by primary school pupils showed female pupils again outperformed the boys.Manning said it was becoming a global phenomenon that girls were outperforming boys at school. "And whilst our education systems must diagnose and prescribe cures for this growing trend, for this growing malaise, parents have a vital role to play in arresting this trend, particularly since the research shows that the gap starts very early in the education process," he said.
Manning said earlier that while Government acknowledged its responsibility in ensuring education played a critical role in national development, it was a fact that the vast majority of successful students came from homes where parents took a keen interest in the education of their children.
The painstaking and highly effective role achieved by parents when their children were toddlers, teaching them for example to walk and talk incurred two major facets. Learning was at the pace of the individual child and the learning process involved constant practice.As the child goes to school this vital interaction is generally lost. Parents don't want to interfere, feel inadequate, or are glad to get some free time back! Although teachers introduce the subject effectively the vital practice function, where 75% of learning retention is obtained is the most difficult aspect to achieve at school. Class size, range of ability and the reluctance of children; too shy to ask questions, embarrassed that they do not understand or peer pressure means they can easily slip behind and lose interest. The diligent teacher with some free time in their hectic schedule can help to correct the gap in their understanding but this is often a bridge too far.
Modern teaching resources used in school are predominately in the form of educational games and ideal to practice the lesson at home, critically at the pace of the child. Parental interaction in maths games, word games, science games, all have an element of "learning in disguise" and not seen as conventional homework. These learning games follow the curriculum from ages 3 - 15 years have a substantial benefit to the child in improving their understanding - and also the parent who can once again becomes pro- active in the schooling process.
Alistair Owens www.keen2learn.co.uk
Alistair Owens is passionate that modern fun based education increases interest and understanding, and by re-engaging parents in an interactive role at home using these educational games and educational toys can substantially support their child's progress at school. He has developed an Intel award winning web site http://www.keen2learn.co.uk that promotes an extensive range of classroom games and educational learning programmes for use in UK schools and with parents at home.