I commend boarding schools for their efforts in supporting and transforming our children into brilliant future global competitors both socially and academically. However, special attention should be drawn to the age at which a child should join boarding school.
As a parent, I’m strongly against the idea of taking a Primary One child to a boarding school. In fact parents who let their children join boarding school at such a tender age not only forfeit their responsibilities but also expose their young ones to many risks.
Child nurturing is the responsibility of every parent and must not be left to other people. Therefore, letting your son join boarding at such a young age means that 80 percent of his infanthood has been spent in the hands of other people who care less about the character of your child.
There is no justification for deliberately depriving your son or daughter of their right to parental care, love and intimacy all in the name of a boarding school. In case a child has a complicated or delicate condition such as epilepsy and asthma, it is the parent, not the teachers, that best know how to handle the situation.
Yes, we all appreciate the great work done in improving performance and conditions in government schools but very little has been done in moulding and shaping children’s moral behaviour despite its impact on their future. Some schools even go the extra mile of assigning pupils to monitor the hygiene of their fellow learners because there is no parent in school to do his or her job.
The other reason you should not take your son to a boarding school is because at that age they need a carefully selected balanced diet to aid his fast growing mental and physical development. Boarding schools may not sufficiently and regularly administer such foods rich in vitamins.
Your son is at such an active stage where he or she enjoys mummy and daddy’s love, sympathy and enthusiastically asks many questions which need special attention.
Imagine how sweet it feels when you have a direct hand in feeding, caring, and moulding your son or daughter’s behaviours and they later turn out to be very productive to the society. I would therefore recommend that your child joins boarding in upper primary or secondary.
The writer is a teacher and counsellor
You should not take your child to a boarding school at such an early age. Sometimes newcomers are bullied by the ‘big’ boys leaving them psychologically tortured and uninterested in school. It is better to keep your child in a day school for some years.
In boarding school, the hygiene is usually poor and may not be the best for a young child. It is, therefore, important that you take your child to a day school so that you closely monitor their hygiene.
Your child is too young to be taken to a boarding school. When children are given homework, parents are supposed to guide them but this is not possible in a boarding school.
In Primary One, a child is in their formative years and needs outstanding care to grow well. Their health and behaviour are an important aspect that must not be delegated to a matron or teacher.