Children change schools due to many reasons which might be personal or not. Such factors include expulsion of a student from a school, poor education standard and poor academic performance, changing to a better institution, the need to live with other people/members of the family, migration of the whole household from one place to another, occupational mobility, search for good standard of living, natural disaster, war, famine, poverty, divorce among others. Moving to a new school is challenging and can affect the performance of a child. But if proper precautions are taken, the effects can be reduced.
Changing school can make or mar the academic success of a child. School mobility has both positive and negative effects on children. The negative effects in most cases overshadow the positive ones. A child academic well being can be improved if there is right choice of schools. A change for a better school or to a school of higher education standard can boost the academic strength of a student. For instance, a change from a government school where teachers are unavailable to a private or boarding school with qualified teachers is a positive migration.
Apart from the academic aspect, the social life of the child is being developed. Change of school can make a child more sociable, meet new people and improve the level of interaction. This builds a child level of confidence and self esteem. Such children have the tendency to adjust to a new place or strange environment quickly than their counterparts. A child that changes school is exposed to different things such as culture, way of life, behaviour, and language and so on. Learning new things can make him or her advance in knowledge. Such child with various exposures will be better than children that are not mobile. Exposure to new and better learning environment, teaching techniques can lead to academic success.
Transition of school by a child from a poor background could be catastrophic for the child. Parent’s mobility due to poverty affects a child’s academic performance. For instance, in a case of urban-rural migration, a child leaves for a school with poor or less education standard where he becomes a one-eyed man in the land of the blind and a local champion. The child, if once brilliant becomes dull and an average or a poor student becomes dormant. Some might even drop out of schools. In cases where there is another change to a better school, such child will have to start from the scratch or repeat a class or more. Some may never be on the same level with their mates thus making them have a slow or no progress in education.
Children tend to lose interest in education if there is frequent change of schools. Class repetitions can discourage them to study since they can be thrown back to junior class anytime. They will lose the morale to be hardworking, dedicated to their study or to succeed because they have the belief that there schools can be changed at anytime. There is a possibility of a child to mingle with the wrong people. Mistakes on the choice of friends can be made and children can be exposed to teenage vices.
Different schools have different syllabus and curriculum. A child whose former school is below the syllabus of the new school will be faced with academic trauma. Topics taught on the other hand might be a repetition. He or she will be lost in class and the things taught may be strange to him or her which will lead to woeful performance. Failure in tests and exams is rampant among students that change schools too often. This can make them objects of scorn by other students. They can be seen as dullards and looked down upon by their mates.
Also, the needs of a new student might not be met by the teachers. Some teachers are non-challant or too busy to take note of the weakness and strengths of their students and thus not responsive to the needs of the students. A child used to his former teachers may find it difficult to relate to the new ones and vice versa. The weakness of a child who has always been monitored by a class teacher may be neglected either consciously or unconsciously by the new ones. The teaching techniques and learning environment might be strange to such children which might lead to reduction in academic performance.
A change to a school where new language is being spoken can lead to communication barrier. For example, International migration. It takes a long period of time to learn new language. This can lead to frustration or drawbacks in education. The environment in which a child is used to will be changed, friends might be difficult to replaced, and socialization process may be affected. Adjusting to the new environment might be difficult and the new student might feel isolated. The school-child relationship will be affected. It takes a long time before relationship between the teacher, parents, and child is established.
Having a new student in a class can slow down the rate of teaching in a class. Much attention is given by the teacher to the student just for him or her to catch up with his or her mates. This happens when the curriculum is higher than where the child is coming from. Teachers paying greater attention can lead to neglect of the other students. They might feel cheated, jealous which can be turned into hatred for the new students. When students move right from the elementary level, the academic foundation will be affected. This may have negative impacts in the future.
All these problems increase with increase in the number of change. Schools should not be changed like clothes. Children need a stable environment, teaching techniques and teacher-student relationship for academic performance. If there is a need for change, parents should try as much as possible to retain or increase the standard of their children’s education and not reduce it. Student’s report consisting the academic performance, personalities, attitude, physical and mental status, academic strengths and weaknesses, reading habit from the previous school should taken to the new school. This will help the teacher in meeting the child’s needs and standards and also help the child’s adaptation. Parents should visit the new school and teacher(s) and prepare a child for the change.