Parents are faced with numerous tough and difficult decisions every day. Especially decisions that affect the future of their children. One of such decisions is when a parent is trying to choose the right kind of education for his child. Because there are lots of options outside there, there is also a lot to ponder about. The options include choosing from any of the following:
- Public School Vs Private School
- Charter School Vs Public School
- Boarding School Vs Day school
- Same-sex school Vs Co-educational school
- International Vs Nigerian (local) School
Of all the available options the decision as regards choosing a Boarding School over a day school is possibly one of the most divisive. While many people are of the opinion that Boarding school is a great option for children, some others believe that it is unfair to separate children at tender ages from their families.
Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of a boarding school to get a better idea of whether or not a boarding school is good for children.
There are many advantages of taking a child to a boarding school. These include:
- A Community Setting
- A holistic Approach to Education
- Availability of Teaching Staff at all times
- Increased Sense of Responsibility
- Multicultural Environment
A Community Setting
The biggest advantage to boarding school education is the sense of community that it affords children. Living in close proximity with other children fosters a sense of connection and being part of a team that it’s hard to achieve in any other way. By being around other children for so much of the time, your child will develop excellent interpersonal skills, and learn how to do things like compromise and work together.
Holistic Approach to Education
The influence a boarding school has on the life of a child can be in various forms. It goes beyond academic life. It includes what hobbies and other Extra-Curricular activities are available outside the classroom. Many students in boarding houses have more opportunities and time to take part in Robotics, Coding, Music, and Entrepreneurship Education. They also have more time for sports. Thus, the Personal Skills Development Programmes in Boarding schools coupled with their academic life help children in Boarding schools to be more rounded educationally. It helps them to also gain a better sense of self and become more confident. All of these prepare them to be able to compete with their peers anywhere in the world.
Availability of Teaching Staff at all Times
Staff members are always available at Boarding schools. Most Boarding houses have staff quarters where staff live. These staff supervises the boarding students throughout the day. Thus, boarding students have more opportunities to work with their teachers before and after normal school hours. It is easy to receive help and counseling from these teachers on difficult assignments.
The availability of teaching staff at all times also allows pupils to take advantage of mentorship programs to complement their education and help them to build specific skills. Mentorship is helpful because it allows education to be specifically tailored to the needs of the individual, and works with blockers and problems that they may be having.
In Boarding schools, students stay without their parents early in life. Being weaned and overcoming homesickness early makes them do things on their own with little supervision. Their controlled spending in school also inculcates in them prudence and financial discipline. The feeling of independence is great for boosting confidence, and it also helps children to develop a stronger sense of self. These things will serve them well in the future, both in employment and wider life.
The independence offered in a boarding school setting is not total. It ensures that the children are still being watched over.
A Boarding school is home to students from every state of the federation. Children from different backgrounds and cultures. It is always an opportunity for students to be part of a multicultural and diversified community; making new friends and broadening their perspectives about other students’ cultures. This builds and inspires teamwork, tolerance, confidence, and nationhood. Students learn the importance of tolerance and respect for differing views and perspectives through the bonds they develop in such a close-knit educational setting. It makes them understand that there is unity in diversity – achieving a lot together despite coming from different backgrounds.
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As there are advantages in a Boarding School so are there the disadvantages. These disadvantages include:
- Home Sickness
- High Cost
- Lack of Separation Between School and Leisure
One of the concerns and worries about Boarding School is homesickness. Children living away from home and parents always desire to see them and causes them to get uninterested in happenings in the school. Homesickness is always short-lived and will ease when the child begins to take part in new routines, make new friends and forge bonds with their classmates and teachers.
Boarding school/tuition fees can be scary for parents especially in big cities where sending a child to a boarding school is in millions of naira. But you don’t have to pay in millions. There are schools that charge affordable fees and still provide all-round education. You can therefore look out for schools that charge school fees in line with your pocket. There are also boarding schools that allow the opportunity for convenient payment terms which enables parents to spread the payment of school fees over a period of 90 days. This frees resources to take care of other pressing responsibilities.
Lack of Separation Between School and Leisure
Some parents also worry about the lack of separation between school and leisure. Worrying that the child will be loaded with too much academic work. This can be mitigated when choosing a school, by ensuring that you choose a school that values the whole child and not just academic achievement.
With the activities of kidnappers and bandits in present-day Nigeria, many parents are now concerned about the security of their children in the Boarding House. Schools have mitigated this by collaborating with security agencies such as police and the army to get armed security to man the school. The schools also have their own security arrangement. All these working 24/7 make the school virtually impenetrable by crooks, thieves, and other unwanted elements thereby keeping the students and their belongings safe.
Like in many other schools, bullying is also a problem in Boarding schools. This is often mitigated by having live-in matrons and patrons in the school. These people stay and supervise the children in their hostels 24/7
Though not peculiar to boarding schools, cultism has become a source of concern in schools. The mitigation against this lies mainly with the parents themselves. Parents should enforce discipline in their children, visit them at school and monitor them. School authorities should also have high discipline and have stringent punishments for cultism. This will serve as a solution to cultism as a whole.
From the discussion above, it can be seen that Boarding School has a lot of benefits but there are also some downsides. If weighed against each other, it can be concluded that it may be more beneficial to register your ward in a Boarding school. Jofegan International Schools is one such Boarding School designed purposely to give your child an all-round education at an affordable cost.
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