In a bid to address concerns of the rising cases of school drop-outs and child abuse caused largely by ‘absentee parents’, over 60 mentors have been trained to provide childcare services for students whose parents are too busy to provide needed guidance.
Speaking at the one-day training that took place last week at Remera, Kigali, Faustin Mutabazi, the chief executive officer of Education Consultancy Bureau, said parents are always busy struggling to win bread for the family which exposes their children to many challenges.
“We therefore feel that these mentors, by acting on behalf of the parents, will positively impact academic performance and moral development of children.
“It’s a long course and very costly to raise a child into a responsible person in the society. The people you see on the streets are the products of failed parenting, among others. Once a child is neglected in their early years, it will affect their academic and social lives in future,” he said.
Mutabazi emphasised the need for parents to be close to their children so that they can shape them better as they grow.
“The modern world is keeping busy and distant to their children. This is what inspired us to train the mentors with good attitude and integrity to act on behalf of parents.”
Highlighting the 14 per cent drop-out at primary and secondary school levels in 2014 alone, Mutabazi noted that their initiative was inspired by the need to reverse this trend.
Richard Kaweesi, the executive, Director of Brainteasers Rwanda, said without parents’ involvement in directing moral and academic growth, children would not succeed in their academics and neither would they be disciplined.
“These mentors will do a lot to bridge the apparent gap between parents and their school-going children,” he said.
Parent mentors role
According to Ange Kanobayita, one of the mentors, they will work as the partners and employees of the company to serve as link between parents, teachers and students, for instance by representing parents who cannot make it for school meetings. The parents will be required to pay a fee for this service.
Obed Iradukunda, another mentor and a student at University of Rwanda’s College of Education, says they will be involved in various activities in place of parents such as coaching or helping students with homework, talent detection and providing direction during recreation through sports.
“We will ensure that the child is safe from destructions during study, ensure the welfare of student at school and protect children from abuse by househelps at home,” he said.