Published by SchoolAdvisor on Dec 28, 2020, 07:30 AM
Raising a child isn’t a walk in the park, just ask any parent. Along with the task of parenting, there are decisions to be made – such as deciding if you should send your child to a boarding school or day school. It is a decision that should be thought through properly.
Mr Haridas, chairman of the board of governors at Highlands International Boarding School (HIBS), believes young people need routine – especially those aged 10 to 18. “The reality of today’s world is that in most homes, both parents work full-time jobs and there is only so much they can do to mould their children’s lives.”
This is where boarding schools come in. Mr Haridas duly explains that the relationship between boarding schools and parents is akin to a partnership to mould children into well-rounded individuals.
Mr Haridas - chairman of the board of governors at Highlands International Boarding School (HIBS)
Wanting to build a comfortable life for their families, parents are typically at work for most hours of the day and are rarely around to monitor their children. If your child goes to a day school and returns home with nothing else scheduled, he is free to do as he wishes. There is nothing stopping him from playing computer games, watching Netflix or getting up to some other mischief.
“In a boarding school, however, their children’s day is completely planned out from the time they wake up, to the time they go to sleep,” says Mr Haridas, elaborating that this gives parents the freedom to go to work and not worry about the well-being and safety of their kids. Additionally, parents don’t have to worry about picking their children up from school, or what they are getting up to at home. Thus, boarding schools allow parents to have peace of mind.
Besides that, it is not unusual for parents to find their teenage children spending hours in their rooms or on their handphones. “I had a parent who once shared with me that his wife had to text their children just to get them to come down for dinner,” says Mr Haridas. From his experience, technology can be disruptive.
Children learn to be more disciplined and independent at a boarding school. This initial experience will come in handy later on when they are studying overseas and have to tend to themselves.
Location! Location! Location! – Located at 3,000ft mid hill of Genting Highlands, HIBS is surrounded by nature and its cool climate makes for an environment conducive for learning.
Modern facilities – HIBS features a number of facilities designed to meet students’ needs such as a library, field, advanced computer lab, tennis court, gym, swimming pool, medical facilities, a well-equipped science and multimedia lab, the Just English Center and comfortable boarding arrangements.
Experiencing new cultures – As it is an international school, your child will have the opportunity to mix and get to know students from various cultures, traditions and backgrounds, both local and international. Apart from hosting its yearly cultural night, the school also celebrates all the cultural festivals in Malaysia, whether it’s Christmas, Deepavali, Chinese New Year or Hari Raya. HIBS takes this opportunity to share with students the stories and values behind each celebration.
Dedicated to education – Compared to other private institutions, HIBS is trust-owned and under the guidance of a board of trustees comprising educators and parents. The school is fully focused on education, rather than making profits. Besides that, parents are kept well-informed of their child’s progress, which is closely monitored.
Comprehensive teaching styles – HIBS bases its teaching method on the Ebbinghaus forgetting curve concept, where an hour of class is broken down to 20 minutes of teaching, 20 minutes of demonstration by the teacher on the subject, followed by 20 minutes of work and activity by the students. This is to ensure that the students would be able to not only retain the knowledge once the class ends, but understand what is being taught as well.
PREP – The Personal Responsibility Education Programme or PREP is undertaken five days a week from 7.30pm to 9.30pm. It integrates the Teaching and Learning Programme in the school with a personal study programme involving each student during the evenings. The focus is on ensuring that this time remains the personal responsibility of the student for self-learning.
Parental involvement in a child’s life is always important. “I say this from my experience. I am a great believer that if you want your child to have a good chance at life, you have to invest your time and energy for 12 solid years into your child’s life – invest in terms of physical, mental, social, emotional and spiritual aspects,” Mr Haridas says. He firmly believes that if parents are unable to invest in all of these areas, a boarding school may help them to meet these needs.
On parents who are searching for a boarding school, Mr Haridas advises them to look over their finances first as that’s the determining factor for most families. If parents can afford to send their child to a boarding school, they should really consider it.
Parents must remember that raising a child need not be an individual effort. Boarding schools are an option in partnering with parents to ensure that children receive the best care and attention during their adolescence. Mr Haridas concludes, “Our aim in a boarding school is to bring up students who are all-rounders because we nurture individuals to realise their highest potential instead of students who are academically proficient, but behaviourally malnourished.”
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