[OPINION] Parents, please teach your children to love learning

Juniesy Estanislao
[OPINION] Parents, please teach your children to love learning
'Teach them early about standing their ground, having the humility to accept when they are wrong, and having empathy towards the circumstances of others'

A recent UNICEF-UNESCO-World Bank joint report entitled “Where are we on Education Recovery?” has evaluated the performance of the Philippines during the pandemic in terms of its basic education. It was stated that only 1 out of 10 Filipino children aged 10 years old could read a simple text. A consideration that was taken into account by the said report was that the Philippines had the longest government-imposed lockdown and school closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In another report entitled “Framework for reopening schools,” it was clearly stated that nation-states were highly encouraged to reopen schools with high observance of minimum health protocols to mitigate the effects of the spread of the virus. However, this was easily said than done since, given the context of the Philippines, which is an archipelagic country, access to education and basic resources is still far from being achieved. This was also considered aside from the country’s poor state performance in 2020, the fiasco in the healthcare system, and the passing of the Anti-Terror Law, among others.  

Provided the context of these intergovernmental reports and state-led initiatives, I am convinced that in order for the country to alleviate its educational crisis, the role of parents is extremely pivotal. The family, being the basic unit of social institutions, is the cell that needs to be nurtured. If certain cells of the body are not functioning properly, as Emile Durkheim suggests, then, the whole body will be affected. Parents of every home must provide everything they can for their children. This includes teaching every child of theirs to love learning in general, not just the love for learning at school, but for any opportunities for learning and growth.

Regardless of the socio-economic status of a family, the love for learning is a worthy investment we all should capitalize on for us to overcome pressing issues not just in education, but on how we will decide to drive our nation. In relation to this, here are some suggestions for promoting a love of learning to children:

  1. Parents, your supervision, especially if the child is just in their formative years, is highly recommended. Children can be exposed to mature content which can distort and harm the idea formation of the child. 
  2. Take time to teach children to learn the basics of reading, writing, and counting. This is self-explanatory, but parents and guardians can consider the 6 Laws of Learning by Edward Thorndike to initiate learning in children even before they go to formal schooling. 
  3. If the child performs poorly in school, listen carefully to what their teachers are telling you. Learn to work with their teachers; they are not the enemy, you are all working together to fight and eliminate ignorance. 
  4. Research on different parenting styles and how they can be contextualized to your home and your parental guidance. 
  5. Teach them early about standing their ground, having the humility to accept when they are wrong, and having empathy towards the circumstances of others.
  6. Most importantly, give them a dignified reason to live their lives to the fullest, may it be to serve other people, to make other people be empowered, or to be the best versions of themselves. 

The power of every family to mold and build the minds, hearts, and souls of this nation cannot be ignored. The family is pivotal for the country to achieve a national ethos towards inclusive and holistic development, and to overcome the challenges faced by the nation. –

Juniesy Estanislao is a licensed professional teacher. He is currently taking up a Master of Arts in Philippine Studies, major in Development Studies at the Asian Center, University of the Philippines Diliman, where he does research on policies for education, underdevelopment, Martial Law education, critical pedagogy, and voter’s education, among others.

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