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The Ministry of Education and Youth in partnership with the Coalition for Better Parenting for Children on (Nov. 1) launched Parents’ Month under the theme ‘Parents: Today you guide. Tomorrow they lead’, at the Ministry’s Heroes’ Circle offices.
Addressing the launch, State Minister in the Ministry, with responsibility for Youth, Senator Noel Monteith, said the concept of a month to celebrate the achievements of parents and guardians in Jamaica was commendable.
“Our parents play a vital role as they guide and nurture the future leaders of this country. All sectors of society should respect and support parents and other guardians in their efforts to nurture and care for children in the home environment,” Senator Monteith said.
He added that “this clearly illustrates the importance of our parents and guardians in shaping the minds of children into responsible and respectful citizens. It’s also a call on other sectors of the society to assist the family in their challenges, as everyone is a part of a family unit and we are indeed our brother’s keeper”.
Senator Monteith said he believed that the family today was in a state of crisis. “The upsurge in violent crimes, the shift in values and morals, the rise in divorce and separation and the increase in the abuse of children are all indicators of this,” he noted.
Meanwhile, Sharon Wolfe, Director of Communications for the Education Transformation Project said the Ministry was committed to improving the role of the Jamaican parent.
“We (parents) are guiding our children to be the leaders of tomorrow and so these young children that we are guiding, will in fact be guiding us and leading at another stage and phase in our lives. We must treat and nurture them with all the love and compassion to make them be able to take opportunities of all that exist and to realize their full potential,” Mrs. Wolfe said.
President of the National Parent Teachers Association, Sylvester Anderson said parents had an important role to play in the transformation of the education system as the Government and the schools could not do it alone.
“Much work needs to be done if the educational system is to be transformed to deliver the quality education that we all yearn for, but it is only through cooperation and collaboration that this will become a reality,” Mr. Anderson said.
Coordinator of Coalition for Better Parenting for Children, Dorette Crawford, used the occasion to encouraged corporate Jamaica to “make parenting their business”.
“Support in all the ways you can the call to promote positive parenting in Jamaica and help us to remind parents that they have a responsibility to guide their children’s development,” Miss Crawford said.
Several activities have been scheduled in celebration of Parents’ Month including a National Church Service, which will be held at the Boulevard Baptist Church on November 5, and workshops on parenting to be aired on Roots FM, each Monday during the course of the month.