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Regional Director in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Dr. Michelle Pinnock, is encouraging parents to collaborate with teachers to make the home-schooling process easier.

Schools across the island have been closed due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) global pandemic.

In an interview with JIS News, Dr. Pinnock, who is in charge of Region 4, said that parents need to be in touch with the children’s teachers and have conversations in terms of what is required.

“Based on the reports that I am getting, many persons are trying to figure out how far they are supposed to go [with certain topics]. Several teachers have also had to help children to understand their need to have someone else teach them apart from their teachers, because very often, in terms of the younger children, they tell parents ‘you are not my teacher’, so the parent has to collaborate with the teacher to get some understanding of how to handle that,” Dr. Pinnock said.

She is also imploring parents to be a part of some of the virtual classroom sessions with children and their teachers, so they can build relationships with the teachers.

Dr. Pinnock further argued that parents, now more than ever, must set the right examples for their children.

“A number of parents want children to ‘do as I say, not as I do’, and that is creating a problem. In terms of reading, you want the child to read but you are not reading,” she said.

“So, if a lot of parents can get involved to the extent where the children mirror some of the things, it could eventually be where both parent and student have a timetable, so children can understand that everybody has to go through a routine,” Dr. Pinnock said.

Meanwhile, she outlined that educators are now trying to employ strategies as they relate to values and attitudes.

“We are trying to figure out some strategies that we can use to get persons to be a little bit more patient, because as the frustration level heightens, then sometimes you find that parents will become a little bit impatient, and that creates problems, because once you give off that kind of feeling, then the frustration level sets in and the students very often shut down,” Dr. Pinnock noted.

She added that parents must engage their children in discussions when there is mood shift and they do not want to do schoolwork, “and you could turn that conversation into one that looks at values and attitudes”.

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