Determinants of parents’ involvement in their preschool Children’s education in Gasabo District, Kigali City, Rwanda
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Pre-school years present crucial opportunities for children’s growth, development and learning. Parents’ involvement in their children’s early education is thus important since they are the first educators of their children. Most importantly, parents’ involvement in the children’s education enhances their academic outcomes. The purpose of this study therefore was to explore the determinants of parents’ involvement in their pre-school children’s education as influenced by: their socio-economic status, level of education, teachers’ perception on parents’ involvement and the strategies used by schools to promote parents’ involvement in their children’s pre-school education. The study was guided by Epstein’s Model of parents’ involvement which describes six types of parents’ involvement including: parenting, communication, volunteering, learning at home, decision making, and collaborating with the community. The study employed the descriptive research design and specifically used the survey method. The sample size constituted 6 (30%) schools from 18 pre-schools, a similar number of head teachers, 9 (11%) teachers out of 79 of them, and 110 (10%) parents out of 1104. Data were collected using a questionnaire for parents while interview schedule was used to capture information from pre-school teachers and head teachers. Data were analyzed using qualitative and quantitative methods. Findings indicated that parents always participated in activities that required them to support their children financially. However, they moderately participated in other activities relating to education due to daily business engagements which paused a challenge to them thus limiting their capacity to involve themselves fully in their children’s education. The study thus concluded that parents’ were involved more in activities that required financial contribution to the expense of other necessities. It was therefore recommended that local leaders should increase parents’ awareness on the importance of getting involved in early childhood education and this could be done by encouraging parents to attend “Akagoroba k’Ababyeyi” literally “The evening for parents”.