JIS News

Education Minister, Rev. the Hon. Ronald Thwaites is in full support of the decision taken by some school principals last week, to bar students wearing improper uniforms from attending classes at their respective schools.

"Those standards of dress, the tight pants and the short skirts, should be but a symbol of an increased direction for discipline and the re-establishment of discipline in the schools. This is to be supported, as the school is not a romping shop. It is a place for learning and character building," Mr. Thwaites emphasised.

The Minister further noted that the move was consistent with the Ministry's emphasis on discipline for students at that level.

Rev. Thwaites was speaking in the House of Representatives on September 11, as he opened the debate on the National Parenting Support Commission Act 2012.

During the first week of the new academic year, many girls were sent home for wearing skirts that were deemed too short, while boys were sent home for wearing what were considered tight fitting pants.

Meanwhile, Mr. Thwaites said that being a good parent is an important role that any adult can play.

"Simple things such as making sure children are at home by a certain hour in the evening will assist with clearing up some of the mayhem that goes on at the Half-Way Tree Transport Centre, and in many other parish capitals where young people gather in unsupervised situations for hours, foregoing homework, foregoing reasonable nutrition, and finding themselves in compromising circumstances," he said.

"These are some of the issues from weak home life that we face, as we consider this important piece of legislation,” the Minister added.

The Bill being debated will establish the National Parenting Support Commission, which will have the responsibility of overseeing the implementation and operation of the National Parenting Policy.

The policy defines effective parenting from a Jamaican perspective and sets out the Government's approach to supporting and strengthening positive parenting practices.

This policy is also expected to facilitate the development of an enabling environment in schools and communities, in which to improve parenting practices.

In her contribution to the debate, Prime Minister the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, called on parents to play their roles in a more responsible manner.

"The health, mental development and motivation of children are all impacted by positive parenting.When parents fail in their responsibilities; it makes life difficult for the children. This places an added burden on Government and all institutions, such as the Church and the school,” Mrs. Simpson Miller said.

Debate on the Bill will continue, with a contribution from Opposition Spokesperson on Education, Mrs. Marisa Dalrymple- Philibert.