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How to choose right school for your child

Towhid Noman, OCT-PSC |
Update: 2014-10-14 23:50:00
How to choose right school for your child

In 21st century we have options to choose public versus privates schools while by Universal Declaration of Human Rights each parent has right to choose the education system that he or she thinks right for the child.

When Americans think about private education, what likely comes to mind are posh-sounding names like Milton or Collegiate, where the elites of Boston and Manhattan — for the low, low price of $40,000 a year — send their offspring to give them a small leg up in the race to Harvard or Yale.

In Asia and Africa or developing countries with growing or positive birth rate of infants education or school business is profit sector while there are alo NGOs or NPOs have been taking initiative beside govt. or public sector to open private sector schools and improve education system by dripping the national drop out rate.

By United Nations MDG goal by next year 2015 each global child or citizen should have primary education free provided by the national govt.

Let us cross our finger on the issue as time is running out in 2 months to touch 2015.

In last 20 years there are growing numbers of private schools by both NGOs and private owners in Asian, African or global continental developing countries even the quality is the same for instance in Canada the quality of private school Upper Canada College charging tuition, room and board annually over $50000 is not same like quality of a faith based private school without local educated and certified principals and teachers.

Similarly the quality of education of rural 80 private secondary schools opened by NGO, Volunteer Association of Bangladesh will not be the same as the quality of private school one of private cadet colleges across Bangladesh.

Again the quality of education of those private schools and university who are black listed by education ministry of a nation for selling certificates to student inflating marks or not attending classes and exams

will never be same with genuine and ethical standard maintaining public and private schools.

But in developing countries, private schools are a big deal, too, and they play a very different role: for just cents a day, they are giving some of the world’s very poorest children a chance to escape the absolute deprivation their parents have suffered their whole lives.

And by showing what can be achieved in schools where teachers actually make an effort to teach and where principals actually care about results, they are laying the basis for a revolution in global education.

For many countries in Africa, Latin America and Asia, one of the most dramatic changes over the past couple of generations has been the number of children who go to school.

In some developed countries like Denmark, Norway, Sweden, UK, America or some Canadian provinces both students from public and private school get tax payers money as funding from the govt.

For detail let me pick a global nation like Canada. School and College-University Education is a provincial responsibility in Canada. Schools in Ontario divided by public, catholic and private system. Then public and catholic system is divided into French and English language system.

90% of over 2.1 million Ontario students go public and catholic schools funded by the Govt. or tax payers while the rest of private schools are not funded by govt. and they survive on students tuition and fund-raising.

Every Ontario Canadian parent has right to admit child in public or catholic schools and get free education from K to 12 grade while our provincial govt. Spend annually $10000 for a regular child and $20000+ for a special need child.

There are 6 different types of priavate schools: 1. Academic, 2. Specially, 3. Language, 4. Faith-based, 5. Montessori and 6. Waldorf schools

Learning of our children are influenced by parents, siblings, peers and their background culture, ethnicity, nationality faith or religious faith knowledge and practice in home, school and community since the students live in these 3 places.

Many parents face the challenge of choosing a school that's right for their child.

Being parents by UDHR and Canadian Charter of Rights we have right to choose the right education and school for our child.

With so many public, catholic(804 school board across Canada) and private(2000+ in Canada, 1034 in Ontario) offering different education environment, teaching styles and philosophies, the experience can feel overwhelming.

As parents we shall look for schools that meet our children's academic, social, emotional and spiritual needs.

The first step in choosing the right school is to determine what type os student your child is? What is her strengths and needs? What environment she or he most likely succeed in?

For families with stronger values "faith" is a priority, the school becomes a partner in helping your kid develop a through understanding of and connection to the faith but it is also important the living in global village in cities like Toronto where we have people from 300 global countries with 50 religious faith, sect, denomination and cult background our children should know about other religion and respect their faith.

Beside having faith based school what best matches the environment in their home and daily or weekend community religious praying center. That may be a cultural, religious or pedagogical decision.  Parents should be asking themselves, how does my child learn best? What sort of schools match up to our faith system? Parents should also consider Sprectrum of different religious orders like    a muslim sunni parent should not choose Ahmadia or Ismailia faith background school.

Just because parents went to a particular school or a particular program doesn't mean it is right for their children? Always consider the specific need of your child.

Here I make a list of factors to consider for a choosing the right school for your child and  give your child well rounded education:

1. Child's learning styles( visual, auditory, kinesthetic ) covered by teachers during teaching

2. Your Faith value

3. Your Family value

4. School mission, vision, value and spirit

5. School curriculum and extra-curriculum(councils, clubs, contests, sports)

6. School admin and staff caring about children and have professional knowledge(PK) or practise the PK

7. Visiting school building, environment, admin and staff

8. Safety of you child in school

9. For high school having special education, guidance and language specialist teachers

10. Involve your child for your choice of school decision making

Finally, I suggest parents need to make decision in consultation with their children and professional educational consultant or counselor before making the right choice of school for their child and for Islamic faith choice of schools parents can pray Salatul Istikhara(Salat by which Lord helps giving the right decision in parents minds).

Towhid Noman, OCT-PSC;

Private School Consultant;

(Voluntary Education Adviser or Coordinator of TBPAC, OBECSS, MCASS, BMA, ANHAF with Bangladeshi BUET and Canadian university education , teacher and principal training plus Toronto District School Board Teaching Experience for 20 years)

BDST: 0928 HRS, OCT 15, 2014

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