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Why the long school holiday need not be a nightmare for parents – Business Daily

Children play at Star of Hope Primary in Lunga Lunga village, Industrial Area Nairobi attends to a student on November 2. Schools reopen on January 4. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO | NMG
Schools closed this past week for the third term holiday. This paves the way for the administering of the KCPE, KCSE and KPSEA examinations. The students will be on holiday for around two months.
Since the Covid-19 pandemic, this is the longest period that school children have been away from school on a break. With a disrupted school calendar, holidays have been reduced to a few days, not enough to take actual rest.
While one would expect excitement and relief on the part of parents, media covered anxiety and complaints instead. Part of the challenge arises from the cost of living. With the price of basic commodities being beyond the reach of many families, school becomes an important relief.
With children in school, the burden of feeding the family is reduced. When schools close, the household budget rises partly due to the increase in the number of residents and the feeding patterns of the children.
It is, therefore, normal for parents to complain about the length of the school holiday, preferring the kids to be kept for long in school. However, this approach to parenting exacerbates societal problems.
Parents have the primary responsibility over their children. Adopting an approach where they would rather their kids were in school than at home, is to abdicate parental responsibility.
There are things that kids can only learn from their parents. While a good education system is one that imbues students with values, true-value-based education is only possible in a context where parents instil fundamental values in their children. Teachers and school only come in to build on what the family has introduced.
A few weeks ago, someone quipped that when the parents do not play their role in character formation then we end up raising educated crooks. I have a cousin who is sitting his KCSE exams in a few days.
There has been a discussion in the class group platform about a number of them who had gone upcountry and not come back on time. The teachers made a follow-up and reminded us about the importance of continuing to play our parental role in supporting the candidates to finish strong.
The fact that it is the teachers who have to remind parents about what to do is an indicator of the work that needs to be done so that parents recognise their central role in not just the growth but also the education of their children.
So, rather than complain about the long school holiday, parents should use the time productively by spending time knowing their kids. With modern life and the pressure of life, bonding time within the family is extremely scarce.
These next two months provide a conducive opportunity for both kids and their parents to get to know each other more intimately, learn from each other and reflect on the ending year.



Joseph Muongi

Financial.co.ke was founded by Mr. Joseph Muongi Kamau. He holds a Master of Science in Finance, Bachelors of Science in Actuarial Science and a Certificate of proficiencty in insurance. He's also the lead financial consultant.