Parental Involvement by African Parents in the Education of their Children in the Foundation Phase

Senosi Swanki Stephinah

Abstract


The regulatory education system of the past has left a legacy in which disadvantaged families require learning support. Nineteen years after the dawn of democracy in South Africa, parental involvement in the education of their children is still facing challenges in eradicating the huge gap left by the previous education policies. Support for learning plays a critical role in improving the education of the child. Siblings, grandparents and other extended members of the family fulfil a major role in the cognitive development of the child who is never isolated in the extended family. This article investigated the extent to which African parents were supportive in the education of their children. The findings revealed that during the ethnographic observations, some parents appeared to be impatient and harsh towards their children once they realised their children had made a mistake during reading supervision, whereas a few seemed to be more patient and allowed their children more time to correct their mistakes. Furthermore, there was definite evidence of a lack of playing a supportive role by African parents in the education of their children. The ethnographic observations of learners and their educator in the classroom situation indicated that some learners were active and used their own initiative by asking their own questions that were not part from the classwork. During each day of the ethnographic observations, a structured behaviour schedule, based on a five-point scale, was used. The schedule was completed at the end of each school day, reflecting the overall impressions of the learners’ learning behaviour on the relevant points.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2014.v5n10p460


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This work is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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