Solon seeks 3-day leave with pay to allow parents to attend school events
House Bill 4691, filed by Rep. Evelio R. Leonardia of Bacolod City, aims to provide 3 extra paid leave per year to employed parents and guardians. Leonardia said about the proposed bill that will benefit parents and guardians:
"The grant of leave with pay will give them the opportunity to attend to the school programs, meetings and for their children or ward where their presence is indispensable and necessary for the educational and moral development of their children,"
Looking at it's face value, I love House Bill 4691 already. Hubs and I are working five days a week. He has a more flexible work schedule but I always have to report to work Mondays to Fridays. Although I work at night, it will still be hard if I need to attend school activities or Parent-Teacher Meetings which are usually done on weekdays. Part of the bill states that a proof of school function requiring your attendance is needed to avail of the paid Parent Leave. We are still a few years from having Mila go to school so I may not be able to utilize this privilege yet. I'm hoping my company will be more lenient on the rules. Mother and Daughter bonding is necessary for the educational and moral development of Mila so I should have that extra moment with her on days when I really need it. Which is almost every day.
Parents Getting Involved in School
Either way, this news got me thinking how important it really is for parents to get involved in your kid's school?
According to Childrens.org, "Students with parents who are involved in their school tend to have fewer behavioral problems and better academic performance, and are more likely to complete high school than students whose parents are not involved in their school." (Read more on this link)
Beings involved does not always mean being present at school. It can be as simple as checking up on your child's homework. Talk to him at dinner and share stories about the day's activity. Find out and get in touch with his school friends and teachers. House Bill 4691 is just giving us the option to be there physically. It gives us less excuse to not get involved. Because let's be honest, we sometimes would rather skip that dreadful meeting with the obnoxious parent who will just rub off his son's achievement on your face and make you feel like you had failed your kid. It can be easy to say to the teacher that you cannot make it to the meeting because you have work. But really, being involved starts with showing your kid you are there, that you are available for them.
My Mom had always been present on my school specially during grade school. Because she was constantly monitoring my progress, she knows if I was failing behind on any particular area. That means additional review time at home or an hour or two with the school's in-house tutor. I felt that that's one of the reasons why I wanted to do well at school. Not because I don't want the extra work. It's because I felt proud when my teachers would talk to my mom during PTA Meetings and tell her how advanced I was with the lessons. If I get into small fights or misbehaved, I had no way of hiding that because my home room adviser knows my mom too well and will tell her immediately after school when she comes to pick me up. Nothing would get pass Mom so I decide I'd better just behave. Oh, they were never able to address my problem with being too talkative though. I'd say I had good run during grade school and that's with Mom being there to help out if needed. I can't say I will be able to get the achievements I had without Mama constantly guiding me and helping me in and out of school.
Now that I'm a mom myself, I want to do the same thing. I may not be available daily to pick my daughter up, but I want to be there when she has her recital, to watch her first play, to see her kick some balls on intrams. Small things just to make Mila feel that I support her and I will make time for her. She will understand if I have to miss a few PTA Meetings, or have to get dad to pick her up. I may not want that but I may have to. Having 3 extra days that I can give to her without sacrificing work will be a huge relief.
Parents getting involved at school not only benefits her own children. Because they can see closely what is happening at school, direct feedback can be provided to teachers. Suggestions and collaboration can be accomplished to improve lessons and provide a safer, happier school environment. Parents can volunteer in school activities or fund-raisers. Parent involvement benefits the community. Having that 3 extra day to do so is a needed benefit.
There are still a few things that House Bill 4691 may need to look into. I wonder how this will work for home schooled kids? I have a former work mate who works 8 hours at night in call center. She spends at least a couple of hours to home school her 5 year old son. They also attend workshops around the metro as part of their curriculum. If work will cause conflict with her kid's studies, can that be approved as a paid parent leave considering that it may not be a "school" sanctioned activity?
How about mothers like me who has children too young to go to school? Is this exclusive for activities needed at school? I know we already have our company provided SILs (Service Incentive Leaves) but a few extra days, again, is very much appreciated. Or maybe this bill really just promotes school presence for parents. I wish I can use those 3 paid leaves to attend parenting workshops.
A mommy (Charisma) from Smart Parenting laments that employers may prioritize single employees instead when House Bill 4691 gets enforced. With the current mandated maternity leave and single parent leave, can companies really afford to loose more work hours to accommodate a mother's need to attend to her child? I wish that when this bill is reviewed, it gets more polished and beneficial to most, if not for everyone.
House Bill 4691 is a good news to a lot of parents. If this will help more parents get involved in their children's school, them let's support this and push to get it approved soon.
What are your thoughts?