Absentee Fathers a Major Problem – Henry Wilson


Minister of Education and Youth, Maxine Henry Wilson, has said that the issue of absentee fathers in Jamaican homes was of major concern, especially as it relates to the socialization of boys.
The Minister, who was speaking at the Jamaica Gasolene Retailers Association’s (JGRA) L.G. Brown scholarship award function held yesterday (March 7) at the Courtleigh Hotel, noted that the problem of absentee fathers was having a psychological impact on boys, many of whom felt betrayed by the lack of a male figure in the home.
“At a previous success camp that we ran at the Ministry in the summer, the recurring factor was the rebelliousness of the boys. First of all, they felt betrayed by having no male role model in their lives, and secondly, many of them thought that it was manly to behave the way that they were behaving,” said Mrs. Henry Wilson.
“In their circles, to be a man meant to be aggressive, to be crass as that was what they saw around them. they did not know that there was an alternative, which made them as equally as virile. You can be a player of an instrument and be considered to be a manly person,” she pointed out.
Meanwhile, four scholarships, valued at $350,000 were awarded to four students for academic excellence.The awardees, whose parents are associated with the JGRA are: Odare Lamont of Excelsior High School; Khimani Duncan, Kingston College; Trimane Clarke, Mona High; and Rochelle Graham, Morant Bay High. The scholarships are for the duration of their school lives.
President of the JGRA, Errol Edwards said that the Association was “giving and giving selflessly” towards the scholarship fund and hence the recipients had to “give us back something in return to make sure that we will be able to maintain the scholarship award for the five-year period”.
He told the awardees that, “you have impressed the selection committee and that is why you have been selected. It therefore means that it shouldn’t be too difficult for you to continue to impress the said committee with good grades, and as long as you consistently achieve good grades on your school work, our commitment remain in place”.
Mr. Edwards noted that the parents too “have their part to play in this, and your presence is an indication of your interest and this demonstrates the importance that you place in the education of your child”.
In his response on behalf of the awardees, Odare Lamont expressed his appreciation.
“We thank you for providing us with the opportunity to further our education and reaching our goals. We promise to do our best in school and aim for the sky to make the name JGRA and L.G. Brown proud,” he said. The scholarship programme has been in existence since 1984.

JIS Social