UN report blames Fiji student dropout on ‘inadequate parental support’

Fiji students
Fiji students ... “Getting parents involved in their children’s learning, especially at home, is known to make a real difference." Image: Atu Rasea/FT File

By Anish Chand in Suva

Inadequate parental support and the lack of parental engagement with education stakeholders are resulting in boys’ disengagement from education in Fiji, says a new report released by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

The report, Boys’ Disengagement from Education – Fiji Case Study, was authored by Dr Wahab Ali, associate professor and head of the Education Department at the University of Fiji.

“Parents’ positive aspirations for their children, especially teens, are strongly linked to academic achievement,” said the report.

“Getting parents involved in their children’s learning, especially at home, is known to make a real difference and potentially has a much bigger impact on a child’s success at school than anything else.

“The study found that there are positive academic outcomes associated with parental involvement, with benefits beginning in early childhood and continuing through adolescence.

“A sound parent-child relationship characterised by nurturing, acceptance and encouragement, as well as parents’ responsiveness to the child’s needs, correlates with positive academic performance.

“Supportive parents help students with homework, which in turn enhances self-esteem and results in better academic performance.

“For a child to achieve academically, parents must be involved and participate in the educational process. The more involved the parents are, the more students are likely to become productive members of society, as well as excelling in academics.”

Anish Chand is a Fiji Times journalist. Republished with permission.

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