UBC Graduate Research

How increasing parental involvement in the low-cost private schools of Dubai can improve students' English language skills Karamali, Rabiya


“Literacy arouses hopes, not only in society as a whole but also in the individual who is striving for fulfillment, happiness, and personal benefit by learning how to read and write. Literacy….means far more than learning how to read and write…The aim is to transmit…knowledge and promote social participation”. –UNESCO Institute for Education (cited in Glasgow & Farrell, 2007, p. xiii). I acknowledge that this is an ideal goal, but I believe that it can be achieved by all schools by the use of the right curricula, educational leadership, and promoting a partnership of parents in their child’s schooling. Also, I understand that knowledge is used to mean different things in different parts of the world. In Afghanistan I have noticed it seems to focus more on vocational skills, in Dubai it is more about test-taking skills, and in Canada, based on conversations with my peers who teach at different schools, it differs based on the schools - some have a focus on critical thinking while for others it is being able to achieve high grades. My goal for schools in countries such as Afghanistan and Pakistan, is to understand and accept knowledge as something that benefits the students long-term, which will allow them to be global citizens and schooled so that they can successfully participate in the work force and in their society. For this goal to be achieved, I think it is essential that family literacy be part of schooling. This involves teaching families how to enable effective learning within their child, while at the same time enabling learning of the families, be it in a vocational field or in a language.

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