While good UNEB results might be the best quality of a good school, there are a lot of other factors to consider before selecting a school for your child.
Location of the school is important for every parent to consider before picking a school for their child. Here’s what to look at;
- The distance from your residence to the school. This helps determine whether your child will be in day or boarding section, how much you’ll spend on transport costs and how frequently you want to check on your child versus how possible it is.
- The political climate of the school’s location. In some areas near the Uganda – Congo border, the political climate is turbulent sometimes, so it’s important to find that out before you choose.
- Proximity of the school to trading centers, health centers, etcetera. This will determine the availability of social services to the students
After finding out what is best for your child in terms of location, this will help you make an informed decision.
2. Proprietorship/ ownership of the school
Government and private schools are quite different in methods of operation. Here are a few differences for you;
- Government schools usually have better teachers than private schools. However, this is not the case when the private school owners have
- Proprietors usually have more control over their staff in private schools than in government schools. This usually helps them get more work done, which benefits students.
- Government schools usually have better infrastructure, and more equipment in stock.
- Schools with a religious foundation are usually strict in imparting religion in children.
3. Streak of performance
Parents are fond of selecting schools because they have appeared once or twice in the newspapers. However, that’s not enough to back your choice of school.
To select a school based on performance, you should look at the results from 5-10 years ago. Only then, you’ll get to make a well informed choice.
Every proprietor has their own journey of starting their school and uplifting it to the desired standards.
It is likely that you’ll find some schools limited in infrastructure, staff and equipment due to low capital.
However, the choice is yours to make depending on the quality of education you want for your kids, and the amount of money you have.
Population has a lot of implications on how the school operates. Here’s a few ways how;
- High population implies high competition among students, which is usually good for the students.
- High population in struggling schools is dangerous because resources then, become scarce
- High populations in government schools usually reveal positive public opinion of the school.
However, these assumptions aren’t 100% accurate, and you have to do enough research before you decide on whether to select a school or not.
This is so important, especially if you plan on taking your child into a boarding school, because of the following reasons;
- Good security means safety of the students against intruders.
- It’s hard to smuggle drugs or weapons into the school premises if the security is tight
- It’s hard for a boarding student to escape if the security is tight.
If there is anything that keeps a parent at ease besides knowing that their child is performing well, it is knowledge of their safety. So, here are a few things that are symbolic of good security.
- Armed security personnel (preferably from a security company)
- Five or more guards.
- Unbreakable locks on the school gate
- Well mounted fence with no visible holes or damages
7. Feeding/ standards of living inside
It might not seem so important to some parents, but good standards of living in a school are an incentive to students. The opposite is true for bad standards. Therefore, you have to look into that carefully.
Even though this is hard to tell at first sight, you should try as much as possible to find out about the school’s standards of living. These include; feeding, sleeping, water supply, etcetera.
Don’t ask the teachers, because all you get are positive answers. However, asking a random student will get you unbiased answers. You have to do it quite subtly, so that no member of staff finds out.
8. Teachers standards of living
By first sight, you can tell how the teachers are living. If you take a look at simple things like their clothes, gadgets and general appearance, you can discern a lot.
I know this probably sounds like too much prejudice, but it’s hard for poor teachers to teach with passion.
If teachers are living low lives, this probably means they are underpaid, or they receive their payments later than expected.
9. Administration of justice
In most schools, the rules and regulations are on the notice board, for all students to always take a look. This helps keep them in check.
There are always students that break the rules all the time, and the school administration is expected to respond accordingly.
However, the punishments given to students have to be fair and just. Here are a few points to note;
- Presence of incontrovertible evidence
- Issuance of a warning
- A committee that reviews punishments, before issuance. Some schools put only one teacher in charge of punishments, and sometimes they deliver extreme punishments due to bias.
10. History of chaos.
It’s not safe to take your child to a school where students have recently organized a strike, looted or held fights during sporting events.
It’s absolutely unsafe because such events will keep resurfacing, and you wouldn’t like your child to be caught in the middle of it.
A good school isn’t just that facility of gigantic buildings that you might spot. A lot has to be taken into consideration, including your personal feelings about it. If your gut doesn’t like the school, you don’t have to go with it. Also, make sure you hear from your child too because their opinion matters.