Parental involvement at a school of skills in the Western Cape
Parental involvement in their children’s schooling has been found to be an important factor with regard to children’s experience of schooling including their academic performance. This quantitative study focused on parental involvement at a school of skills in the Cape metropole, Western Cape. Epstein’s (2009) six typologies of parental involvement in their children’s schooling provided the theoretical framework of the study and guided the formulation of the research instrument and the data analysis of the study. A survey research design was used and 74 parent/caregiver participants were conveniently sampled after all ethical protocols were followed. The findings indicated that participants: (i) indicated a very positive attitude towards being involved in the education of their children at the school of skills and were inspired to be involved in the education of their children, (ii) were highly involved in the following typologies of parental involvement: learning at home, parenting and collaboration with community, (iii) communication between school and the parents as a form of parental involvement was found to be at a moderate level, (iv) participants were found to be minimally involved in decision-making as a form of parental involvement, (v) volunteering as a form of parental involvement was represented by low to moderate levels of involvement, (vi) participants’ marital status, forms of kinship relations with the learners at the school of skills (e.g. biological mother, foster parent) and levels of formal education were not found to have a significant statistical relationship with their levels of parental involvement in their children’s schooling. (vii) The challenges that participants faced with regard to their involvement in their children’s schooling included the following: a) a fair number of about 30% participants frequently found language as a barrier for them to assist their children with homework, b) about 46% of the participants indicated that they were seldom or never recruited by educators to volunteer at the School of Skills, c) about half of the participants indicated that their challenge was that they were not trained on how to offer their talents for volunteering at the school, d) participants also found it difficult to share information with the school about their child’s cultural background, talents, and needs.