By Rose Achiego
Teachers have been urged to inspire parents to take up their role in values and faith formation of their children more seriously by encouraging them to participate in all aspects of the education of their children
In his keynote address to Education Secretaries and Religious Education Advisors, Principals, Head Teachers and Directors of Catholic Private Institutions at Catholic University Of Eastern Africa (CUEA), The Chairman of Kenya Conference Of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) – Commission For Education & Religious Education Rt. Rev. Maurice Muhatia said that parents and educators need to focus more on faith, sincerity, and seriousness in the education of their children.
Speaking during the Catholic Private Educational Institutions Conference (CaPEIA) that runs from 6th -9th, March, 2018 under the theme ‘’Parental Empowerment and Engagement for holistic Education’’, Bishop Muhatia challenged teachers to encourage parents to support their children in achieving their life goals, take up responsibility of preventing abuse of their children in and out of school, productively engage with the school administration and teachers for the good of their children and build their own capacity to empower parents/guardians as collaborators in provision of holistic education.
“Successful educational programs depend upon the cooperation and involvement of the parents with the school. According to Declaration on Christian Education (Gravissimum Educationis, 3; 1965), parents have given children their life, they are bound by the most serious obligation to educate their offspring and therefore must be recognized as the primary and principal educators,” he said.
The Bishop of Nakuru said partnership between the Catholic schools and the families of pupils and students must continue and be strengthened to deal with academic problems that may arise and to achieve the educational goals of the school.
“This partnership is more important today when dealing with sensitive issues such as religion, moral values, human sexuality education, pornography, social media, child protection as well as rights and responsibilities of children. This partnership is not a question of convenience, but a serious partnership based on faith, the value of children as a gift from God and the future of any society,” Bishop Muhatia said.
He stressed that the parents should be aware of the dangers of Comprehensive Sexuality Education, and at the same time empower them to educate their children on age-appropriate human sexuality adding that other threats to children in schools that parents can assist to address are radicalization, drug abuse, and teenage suicide.
Bishop Muhatia emphasized on the Catholic tradition that teaches that God has bestowed on the family its own specific and unique educational mission, stressing the need to uphold this mission in schools (Congregation for Catholic Education, 1988). “As Catholic Educators we need to help parents understand and appreciate their roles in school as spelled out by Canon 792 §2,” he said.
In empowering parents, he called upon teachers to encourage parents to be active in the faith development of their children and worship, ensure participation in school Masses when possible, contribution to Community service and instilling in each child positive values, attitudes and behaviour besides supporting school and class regulations and policies that include; Code of Dressing and educational programs offered at school by conscientious supervision of school assignments.
“Parents must cooperate closely with the teachers of the schools to which they entrust their children to be educated; moreover, teachers in fulfilling their duty are to collaborate very closely with parents, who are to be heard willingly and for whom associations or meetings are to be established and highly esteemed,” he said
Bishop Muhatia conveyed Bishops Conference gratitude for the great work the education officials are doing in ensuring that Catholic private schools offer quality education and remain truly Catholic while congratulating Catholic private Schools for posting impressive 2017 KCPE and KCSE results.