Special guide for senior one to senior five
Your child’s education can be insured
By Billy Rwothungeyo
The school year is about to start. As you think about taking your child to school, has insurance crossed your mind? Yes, you have insured your vehicle, but did you know that there is an insurance policy for your child’s education too?
One of the most signifi cant and worthwhile investments you can ever make is in your child’s education. Should you ever become severely ill, disabled or die; insurance is the best way of ensuring your children do not drop out of school.
A child’s education is a long-term commitment that can stretch to over 15 years, depending on the careers they choose. Financing such an investment can be daunting.
A child education policy is a life insurance product which enables one to save so that the funding of a child’s education is assured. Some of the policies are designed in such a way that, in the unfortunate event of a parent/guardian’s death or disability, the child will continue with school.
Enock Mudadi, the claims manager at an insurance company in Kampala, explains why taking out an insurance policy is vital. “It is cheap in the long run if you took out an insurance policy to cover your child’s education.
If I want my child to attend a prestigious university, why not start working on it now rather than wait for the panic moment of looking for money 15 years later?” He asks. CLICK HERE FOR MORE
Start planning for your child’s school shopping now
By Umar Nsubuga
The back-to-school season is around the corner. As a parent, your child will expect you to provide the school requirements. However, due the economic hardships, which have led to a rise in commodity prices, many parents may not be able to meet all the needs on a child’s shopping list.
As a parent, the first step is to explain to your child why you are not able to provide everything on the shopping list. Mariam Nalwanga, a resident of Kitagobwa in Wakiso district, says whenever her 15-year-old daughter presents a list of her needs, it includes juice, sugar, roasted groundnuts, biscuits, milk and bread among others. “I do not want to deprive my daughter of anything she asks for yet I cannot afford it all,” Nalwanga says.
Peter Kisembo, a children learning psychologist in Wakiso says there are parents who might be able to scrounge around and find money to meet their children’s needs and some who send their children to school without all the items on the shopping list.
According to Kisembo, the essentials have to be catered for and these may include toiletries, clothes and uniforms. “Set priorities in consultation with the child. Do not abuse, threaten or shout at the child when they inquire why you are not providing everything on the shopping list,” Kisembo advises parents.
He says for many parents, essentials are the requirements specifically asked for by the school, which include school fees, reams of paper, brooms and toilet paper. CLICK HERE FOR MORE
How to better prepare your child for school
By Bob G. Kisiki
The atmosphere right now is covered with the nimbus anticipation and anxiety of the imminent commencement of the new academic year/ term.
The implications of this are various — the search for vacancies for S1 and S5 learners; paying fees for new and continuing pupils and students; purchasing school requirements and so on. One other key thing, though, is preparing your child(ren) for school.
Some are joining school for the fi rst time, while others are proceeding to new levels. Either way, a careful parent should have begun preparing their child ages ago. However, if you have not, you can still do something.
For children who have never been to school, it is useful to gradually introduce them to aspects of school life. For instance, while they are at school, the parents and the househelp will not be there to dress your little boy or girl.
Bit by bit, let the child learn to take care of those things you have been doing for them. Let them learn some degree of independence. Let your little girl learn to unwrap her lunch package, go to the washroom unaided (but supervised) and to open their drink bottle.
Ask your pre-school child what they think about going to school. Take note of and react to their ideas. Then you should also let them ask you questions regarding school. Consider these questions, but also take care of the tone used — is it of excitement; trepidation or indifference? This should tell you how much work you have to do as you prepare your child for school.
If you, as parents are also new in the system (you are taking your fi rst child to school), you need to look up friends, siblings or other people (maybe your own parents) who have been there to share their experiences with you.
While their experience might not be yours, you sure will pick a proverbial thing or two on what to do and what not to do. If, however, your child is just going to a new level, concentrate your preparation on that specifi c level, as well as the school they are going to.
We all know that while primary schools in Uganda teach four main (examinable) subjects, the average secondary school teaches a minimum of 14 subjects at O’level.
This jump could be disastrous to a child who has not been prepared for it. Begin to introduce them to some of these aspects. Tell them in a manner that is not scaring about new concepts such as accounts, chemistry, commerce and so on.
If they have been in day school and they are going to a boarding one, prepare them. If they were doing 14 O’level subjects and are getting excited over the prospect of returning to only four at A’level, show them the big difference between the four at primary school and those at A’level.
Whatever the case, do talk to your child and enable them to fi t in without facing any shock. Do not forget to go through the new school’s culture with the child.
Some schools run a lackadaisical kind of environment, and it is incumbent on the child (guided by you, the parent) to ensure that they judge what is good and what is not, for them.
To merely swim with the tide could lead you to rapids you may not be able to scale, however strong your moral muscles might be. Alternatively, the school might be very ‘tight’ as far as academics and discipline are concerned.
So, if your child goes with a tourist mentality, they may not know what hit them, when they are asked to ‘please try your talents elsewhere’ after just one month or term in the school.
Take time to go through the rules and regulations with your child. Explain the implications of disobedience. Talk about the beauty of being on the good side of the law, as well as the implications of having a record of having been expelled from a school.
Ask an old student of the school your child is going to, to have a chat with them. Actually, it would help if you took a day off and drove your child to their new school. Walk around.
Talk to people. Ultimately, when the child reports to school later this month or the next one, they should be well-prepared and happy.
The writer is a parenting counsellor