Mix reaction to schools using parents as teacher's aide

By Soli Wilson, 11 April 2019

Moana Toa, Vaimoso, 55.

Yes, parents should be helping out because teachers do need help within classes. Teachers will always need help – and if not from other teachers due to the lack of staff – then yes why not use the parents as nobody else knows their kids better than them. If they are able to help out, this will help the teacher, leading to a less stressful environment for both the teacher and students. But to also be there for any emergencies that may arise. A child might fall sick suddenly while the teacher is busy, then parents can help.

Talaoloa Siona, Faleula Uta, 51.

We should always have a steady supply of teachers for these things as they know one teacher cannot readily provide for 30-40 students. There should be at least 2-3 teachers for primary school kids as well as teacher numbers depending on the subject taught. The Ministry is right, a lot of hands means more productivity from the kids, and we should be encouraging our younger generation to taking up teaching as a profession in order to tackle this problem in the long run.

Faatupu Siao, Saleimoa Salepoua’e, 54.

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I think this isn’t appropriate as some parents are not well educated. I used to be a teacher also. Personally when one child cries, the whole focus of the class is lost as well so at least two teachers are needed. But with some parents who are well educated, those are the ones who should be involved. Why not get teachers who have just retired to be brought in to aid in these classes? Why not still use them as they still have the knowledge to just aid in the teachings and such?

Faafetai Filipo, Tuana’I, 32.

I think this is a great way to get these parents active in their child’s academic life, even if it is just to help with counting and reading or even just calming the children down. Whatever happens, they should be available to help around with the teachers' tasks somehow. I support these Government pilot programs to tackle the shortage of teachers, this is a great idea.

Poto Amituanai, Fasitoo Uta, 34.

There are sides I support and also those I do not. Primary school children are not always easy to handle –  this may be a great way for the parents to be involved, as they know their own child’s needs and wants, which will be such a relief on the teachers' side. But on the other hand, children seeing their parents during class time also isn’t great. This may lead to them developing a very dependent attitude, and it’s not a good thing.

Junior Sinapati, Asau, 24.

I support the Ministry’s plans but I think it’s better for the parents to just stick to just dropping off their children at school and not staying for long. In my experience, a child can never focus if their parent is present in the classroom. I think the learning experience should just be between the teacher and student, but as long as there are enough teachers to cater for all the children.

By Soli Wilson, 11 April 2019

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