The formation of Fathers@Schools movement aims to further the Dads for Life programme. Dads for Life is a community-owned programme, driven by the Fathers Action Network, a workgroup of the National Family Council. The programme was officially launched on 19 November 2009.
Fathers@Schools movement seeks to provide the platform for more active and deliberate engagement of fathers in the school environment. The focus is on fathers of school-going children. Fathers@Schools seeks to further the aims of Dads for Life programme by:
- Creating platforms in schools to:
a. Promote father and child bonding
b. Equip fathers with co-parenting and marriage skills
c. Enable fathers to help other fathers become more active contributors to schools, especially in addressing anti-social behaviours in the student population.
- Promoting the formation of Father Groups in schools so fathers can come together to provide support to one another in their own parenting journey and to partner with educators to make unique contributors to the school environment of their children.
In March 2010, with the support of the then Principal, Mr J Pierre and Parent Support Group, Pasir Ris Primary School was among the pioneer batch of 54 schools nationwide to register herself as a member of the Fathers@Schools movement. Pasir Ris Primary School held her inaugural Fathers@PRPS activity – “Come See My School” on Saturday, 30 October 2010.
The School understands the challenges in engaging fathers to be part of the movement have therefore adopted the following approaches:
- Work around fathers’ work responsibilities and engagement (e.g. organizing activities in the evenings or Saturdays)
- Engage mothers to support fathers in their involvement in schools (e.g. helping mothers understand the unique benefits that fathers’ involvement bring to child development); and
- Provide for sufficient unique father-focused platforms to mitigate fathers’ hesitation in being in largely female company. (e.g. forming fathers’ groups)