Parents International and the SLN Global Network has launched a 3-year collaboration with a well-received online event on 5 September 2020. The aim of this collaboration is to support parents, teachers and school leaders in India. We are encouraging professionals and parents to engage in a meaningful dialogue with each other and promoting goals primarily in the field of education and parenting.
Parents are recognised as crucial stakeholders in the Indian school system. Legal frameworks ensure the voice of parents is included in school decision-making, and traditionally many parents are more involved in the schooling of their children than in other countries – or more than teachers feel comfortable about in some cases. The aim of our collaborative effort is to empower both parents and professionals for the engagement of all parents as well as engagement for the best interest of the child. We will keep reporting about news in this collaboraion.
The launch event was held on 5 September as this is Teachers Day in India. SLN chose the date to highlight the importance of parents in schools as well as to celebrate the great job Indian parents did during school closure as teachers of their children.
While presenting the aims of the network as well as theoretical and legal background behind parental engagement, participants also had an opportunity to engage in dialogue via the chat function but also live. Stichting OVO, a group of 14 Dutch schools (10 primary and 4 secondary) presented their parent, family and community centred practice in the last part of the event. It was not only a participatory event, but was also live-streamed. The recording of this live-stream is available following this link for those interested.
Direct feedback from particiapants after the event has already highlighted two areas where teachers seek our support, both are areas that we have experiences with from other countries and cultures:
- engaging low-income, low socio-economic status parents
- engaging with parents for less focus on academic achievement, and more 21st century skills and student well-being.
This has given us a great compass for our path in this work.