Fathers Urged to Play More Actvie Role in PTAs


Assistant Chief Education Officer, in the Guidance and Counselling Unit of the Ministry of Education, Mary Nichols, is urging mothers to encourage fathers to join the Parent Teachers Association (PTA) and be more active in their children’s lives.
“I want to say to the fathers that your child needs you now even more than the mothers because we carried them. and despite what is happening between you and the child’s mother, you need to put yourself forward because it is a blessing in disguise when you really go forward to be a part of your child’s life especially at the PTA and school,” she emphasised during a recent interview with JIS News.
“It’s a pleasure for a child, children have spoken to me and its a pleasure to see daddy coming to school so I think we will need to look at ourselves as mothers and women and pull back a little bit so the men can come forward, because sometimes they feel threatened,” she further noted, while adding that there are many advantages to joining a PTA.
“There are a lot of benefits to joining a PTA.you develop a relationship with the school and all the teachers, you are informed of the activities of the school. The PTA provides an opportunity for discussing and resolving issues. (and) if problems come then you would be able to discuss them,” the Assistant Chief Education Officer explained.
Continuing, she added, “it also assists in the development of the school as a community and family life because the teacher would know more about your child because. as a former teacher, principal, in the classroom when I see the children I technically see the parents, so that gives the teacher an opportunity to know the family and it really does help to structure in a unique way the roles of the teacher, administrator, principal, Board, parent, and child”.
According to Mrs. Nichols the interaction of parents and teachers contribute to good performance in students.
“Really and truly when parents and teachers interact with each other on a regular basis, before problems or issues come up, children perform better and I use my children as an example of that,” she informed.
In the meantime, she is reiterating that parents need to ensure that their children are safe.
“It is our responsibility to keep our children safe, both father and mother and safe means that we protect them so we ought to know where our children are. We must have that consistent control, so if your child is supposed to be at school we have to stop a minute and think why my child wouldn’t be at school and how can I check to find out that my child is at school,” she quipped.
According to Mrs. Nichols those concerns can be addressed if parents are a part of the PTA.
“It comes back to the PTA. If your child’s pattern of coming to school is on time or not being absent, I’m sure if you had formed that relationship before with the teacher, [then he or she] would want to find out immediately, especially in this technological age with these cell phones.so it is one of our fundamental duties as parents, to protect and keep your child safe,” she explained, while noting that there are other strategies that parents need to adopt to protect their children.
“We need to encourage our children to walk in groups, teach them not to accept gifts and yes we want our children to be friendly and social but in the time we are living in now they really can’t be too social, the social network has to come within a context and we have to provide our children with equipment or materials that can make sounds, (to) attract peoples’ attention if they are in trouble,” she cautioned.
November is being celebrated as Parent Month under the theme ‘Parenting…Right from the Start’.

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