MRS Sita Nagamootoo has urged parents to be more involved in their children’s academic life.Mrs. Nagamoootoo, wife of Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo, made the call while speaking at a thanksgiving ceremony held in honour of the first anniversary of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Daycare/ Playgroup and Learning Centre at Shieldstown in Region 5.
She said the first five years of a child’s life can determine his or her future and hence it is important that parents play a critical role in their children’s pursuit of education.
“My dad was a model teacher. He taught me, as well as other siblings, English and Maths almost every day. He took me to school for many years, and took a personal interest in my homework, so as a parent and an educator, I understand firsthand the importance of a parent’s role in the education of their child,” she stated.
Mrs. Nagamootooo, however, noted that she is well aware of the challenges facing some parents. “Sometimes, education could take a seat on the back burner when we lack resources for books, snacks or transportation. However, educating our children remains a priority in determining their success in life,” she noted.
Mrs. Nagamootoo said while poverty, negative influences, and lack of a role model may contribute to children’s underperformance, the relationship they share with their parents is among key contributors, which may help them to do well.
“What we do not stress enough about is the importance of relationship and the importance of human connection in learning. One writer, James Comer, once said, ‘No significant learning can occur without a significant relationship.’ And he is absolutely right. No one will learn from someone he or she dislikes or with whom he or she cannot connect,” she stated.
Mrs Nagamootoo added: “As parents, we need to be motivated and excited about the education of our children if they are ever going to be inspired to want to learn. As parents, we need to cultivate a home that is conducive to learning and development. We need a child-friendly home, because while formal education for the most part takes place in a classroom setting, education starts in the homes of our children.”
Parents, she emphasised, are the first teachers. ‘Therefore, as parents and teachers, we need to work and collaborate to ensure that our children, the future leaders of Guyana, are given the right opportunity to develop and grow and become productive citizens.”