Exploring the Roles of Parental Involvement in a Child’s Development of Literacy Skills during First Cycle Primary level
The main purpose of this study is to explore the roles played by parents in the development of a child’s literacy skills. Twelve parents were randomly selected from the parents of the respondent students attending in the selected two schools. All the English teachers in both schools teaching from grade one to four are taken for the study. Forty students, twenty from each school, are randomly selected for the study. Descriptive survey is used as the research design and mixed method approach is used to analyze the collected data. Focus group interview (to gather data from parents) and questionnaire (to collect data from teachers and students) were used as data gathering tools. The findings of the study indicate that the majority of the parents did not give their support to their children that could have helped them to improve their literacy skills. Financial issues, illiteracy and lack of awareness about their roles were found to be some of the challenges parents faced as they strived to support their children. Virtually all the teachers said that they would not consult with parents on ways of improving the children’s early reading skills, and parents got hardly involved in their children’s education. As a result, the parents were not aware of the necessary support they could give to their children. As they did not have strong connection with teachers, they were not informed about the kinds of support they need to provide their children with. Parents did not go to the schools-except only when they were called on by the teachers and/or the school administration- to discuss their children’s academic activities with the teachers and/or the school administration. The students’ response also shows that they cannot get the necessary support from their parents, basically because most of them were illiterate, not aware of what materials to provide their children with.