Let’s say we start with this question, What are your own indices for a good Secondary Education? How would you judge a well educated Secondary School age child? What exactly would impress you?
These days, the offers are endless as the competition to provide added value is much among the schools. From amenities to better-trained teachers translating into even more on-going training, international certifications, international school/university placements, the list is endless.
It can get a bit mind-boggling which of the schools to decide on because once you think you’ve made a decision, you find yet another school whose offer seems more robust than the first.
You have a 3 face challenge then;
1) How to investigate the claims in order to see how closely those claims actually come to life in actual experience on the school grounds, with the real-time students.
2) What your own informed idea of a good education entails and how closely each of the schools you’re considering, meets your own core values as a school vis a vis your desires for each child as an individual, bearing in mind their own learning styles and natural proclivities. For instance, you may want a school that is big on Football, for your child who’s skilled at the game. Such a school may go as far as offering scholarships to international schools where players for the big leagues are scouted, so long as the child performs well academically.
3) Evidence of good Pastoral Care; All other things being equal we learnt may still not groom an excellent child if pastoral care isn’t ‘tight’ so to speak.
Who does your child go to when he’s having emotional trauma that is beginning to get in the way of his/her studies?
Trauma from within himself/herself, from home, from peers, teachers, other staff, etc
How about, “hidden curriculum”, that is, those habits that students pick up from their peers by default, that isn’t necessarily part of the curriculum? Truth is some schools are more intentional about their hidden curriculum, working to ensure that only student of a certain professional cadre of parents is admitted, to help curtail the influence of hoodlum or socially acceptable behaviour.
Much as this may not be ideal because, at the end of the day, you want a normal society to be modelled to the students as much as is possible and strictly elite societies aren’t that regular. You certainly don’t want your child having adjustment issues to reality, later on in life.
Yet, whatever the issue may be, you want to ensure that there are strict policies for punishment and redress for erring behaviour, as well as emotional intelligence management.
In other words, you’re looking to see that there’s a system in place for dealing with these things and that students are truly happy on the school premises before you bring your own child into that experience.
The options are endless. The rest of it really is plain basic stuff. The prospecting process can be quite exciting too, depending on how prepared you are with a good idea what you’re looking for. That said, let’s quickly take a look at this basic list as we prospect for new schools in the new session coming;
? Must show Intelligence and Knowledge of General Material, including the basic application of relevant Information Technology software.
? Discipline and Orderliness
? Sociability, Etiquette and Respect for Others
? Good Spoken and Written Communication/Articulation
? Mastery of Subject Matters
? Leadership, Planning and Organisation
? Excursions and Experiences
? Healthy Knowledge of the World around your- language and culture.
? Extra-curricular Activities eg Drama, Public Speaking, Dance, Poetry, Girl Guides, Boy Scouts and Red Cross, etc
? Physical Fitness
? Composure and Poise
? Relevance to Society/able to contribute positively to society in numerous ways.
? Ability to harness his environment in order to make an honourable living.
This is where I include(don’t know about you, though);
? A wholesome dose of Moral Instruction, as well as some measurable dose of seasoned Bible Instruction.
There! Pretty much covered the scope of your ammunition as you make your rounds prospecting Secondary schools for your children and wards this new session approaching.
Good luck with it…