Parenting Responsibility for the Education and Formation of the Child
Parents have the primary right, and together with it, the responsibility, duty, and obligation of educating and forming their children in preparation for life in society.
The School - an Auxiliary Institution
Aware of their limitation in matters of time, resources, competencies, and expertise in preparing the child for life in society, they enlist the help of institutions outside of the family to help them in the education and formation of their children.
An institution which has an organized system and method of providing this critical learning and formation experience for the child, is the school.
The Ateneo de Manila High School - a School of Choice
In an exercise of their right, duty, and responsibility of educating and forming their children, parents choose to send their children to a school which, in their judgment, can best help them prepare their children for life in society.
One such institution is the Ateneo de Manila High School - a Filipino, Catholic, and Jesuit school which offers a college preparatory program for the education and formation of Filipino, Catholic male adolescents.
Jesuit Education and Ignatian Spirituality
For close to four hundred years, the Jesuit approach to education has integrated the principles of sound pedagogy with the spirituality of Saint Ignatius of Loyola - a methodology that came to be known as the Jesuit Ratio Studiorum, a Jesuit way of studies, and now also referred to as the Ignatian Pedagogical Paradigm.
A New Equation in Jesuit Education
Early in the history of the Ateneo, responsibility for the education and formation process was assumed and carried out primarily by members of the Society of Jesus, whose teaching methodology flowed out of their spirituality, which was Ignatian in root and origin.
But with the growth of student population and the lessening number of Jesuits, more and more lay parners have been invited to share and commit themselves to work as partners in the task of educating and forming the young.
Faced with this diminished number of Jesuits, and the increasing number of our lay partners assuming a larger share in the responsibility of teaching and forming the student according to the goals and objectives of Jesuit education - the challenge now is how to ensure that the education students receive remains both Ignatian and Jesuit in character - as parents expect the education of their sons to be.
Jesuit Response to the Challenge of Diminishing Numbers
At the Ateneo de Manila High School and in other Jesuit schools throughout the world, there has been a deliberate and conscious effort on the part of the Society of Jesus to share this Ignatian Spirituality with our lay parners and collaborators, so that they themselves are able to communicate and transmit this unique characteristic of Jesuit education to the students.
The Need for Family and School Collaboration
But given the changing and developing nature of the adolescent, and the complexity of this task of educating and forming him for life in an equally changing and modern world, the school cannot do this alone.
And neither can the Family do this alone.
For just as the Jesuits can no longer engage in the task of educating and forming the adolescent without the help and in partnership with their lay collaborators, by the same token, the School cannot fulfill this task of education and formation without the support, the collaboration, the active participation, and involvement of parents in the educational and formation process.
Hence, the need for the Family to work with the School, for the parents to work with the teachers, in implementing the educational and formation program of the school.
And the need for the School and the Home, the teachers and the parents, to work together in complementing the formation and education program that either provide the children in school and at home.
Responding to the Need for Family and School Collaboration
Given that some parents may not have the time, the skills, nor the competencies needed to fulfill their parenting roles, and therefore may need help and assistance in their parenting tasks and responsibilities, and realizing the need for an instrument which can complement the educational and formation efforts undertaken by the school, the Ateneo de Manila High School has taken the initiative of helping parents form an organization to achieve such purposes...the Parent Union for School and Home, or PUSH.
Accordingly, the school has made available its facilities, its organizational infrastructures, its competencies, so that the parents can organize, together with the school, a parenting skills development and formation program for parents of the Ateneo de Manila High School.
A Parenting Skills and Formation Program
The locus of this Parenting Skills Development and Formation Program is the Ateneo de Manila High School.
The primary clientele are the Ateneo de Manila High School parents.
The facilitators of the program are designated school personnel and parent representatives.
The goals of the Program are to enhance their parenting skills and promote their formation according to the tenets of Ignatian spirituality.
Primary objectives of the Parenting Program are to provide Ateneo de Manila High School parents with relevant information and knowledge that will lead to a better understanding of their parenting concerns, and enable them to acquire skills and competencies related to their parenting roles.
A third objective of the Parenting Program, just as important as the first two, is to familiarize parents with the Ignatian character of Ateneo education - helping them understand how Ignatian Spirituality underlies all school activities and programs, leading them to participate in activities that foster Ignatian Spirituality and values - and thus enabling them to help their sons understand, appreciate, and develop within themselves, the Ignatian spirituality which underlies their Ignatian, Jesuit, and Ateneo education.
Creating a Climate of Collaboration, Cooperation, and Mutual Support
There is need, therefore, for collaboration and mutual support between parents and teacher, more particularly, the Class Parent Representative and the Class Moderator.
There is need to establish and create an environment of openess, collaboration, cooperation, and mutual support among the parents themselves, between the home and the school, between parents and teachers, between PUSH and the school administration.
There is need to extablish a database, which can provide pertinent information about the parent clientele of the High School.
There is need to strengthen, establish, improve venues/instruments of communication between the parents and the school administration, parents and teachers, parents and students, parents and other parents, parents and their other publics.
There is need to strengthen and improve the infrastructues of PUSH for more efficient and more effective implementation of the activities of the Parenting Program, and the attainment of project goals and objectives.
There is need for wider participation of personnel who shall represent the interests and concerns of school and the home, of the parents and the teachers, of PUSH as a parent organizaion and the educational institution that is the Ateneo de Manila High School.