JIS News

Prime Minister Bruce Golding has asked the National Parent Teachers Association of Jamaica (NPTAJ) to spearhead a national programme to get more parents to understand that the educational progress of their children depends on their involvement. He said the society has been expecting teachers to do much more than should be required of them. He added that teachers should be reinforcing, not introducing values in schools.
He was speaking today (July 11) at the second annual conference of the National Parent Teacher Association of Jamaica, held at the University of Technology.
Mr. Golding said parents tended to focus attention on making arrangements for sending their children to school including getting uniforms and books, and felt that their responsibility stopped when the children went off to school. “Many do not appreciate that their responsibility has to go further than that, there is a culture and a mindset that has to be changed and that the NPTAJ is uniquely positioned to lead the process”, Mr. Golding said. He added that the government was prepared to identify resources for the programme in order to get more parents involved.
In the meantime, Mr. Golding has commended the NPTAJ for its contribution to education, noting that schools supported by strong parent teachers associations generally perform better. He said while the influence of PTAs are limited to the schools to which they are attached, the NPTAJ could extend its reach by sharing its experiences and drawing on its combined strength to help fledging PTAs.
In response to a request from the President of the NPTAJ, Sylvester Anderson for assistance from the Government to advance the work of the Association, Mr. Golding said the government would give favourable consideration to paying the salaries of a General Secretary and Administrative Officer for the Association. He has asked the NPTAJ to send him a formal proposal. The Ministry of Education currently provides office space for the Association.
The National Parent Teachers Association of Jamaica was launched in July 2006 on the recommendation of the Taskforce on Education Reform. The NPTAJ engages in a number of training and promotional activities geared towards improving parental support for education.
Other speakers at today’s function included Dr. Rebecca Tortella, who represented the Minister of Education and the Executive Director of the Education Transformation Team, Frank Weeple.