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The government will soon announce new policies and programmes to be implemented, to improve the welfare of the nation’s children.
This is according to Minister of Information, Culture, Youth and Sports, Olivia Grange, who cited that among the strategies currently under discussion in the Cabinet, was a national parenting policy as well as the creation of a national parenting commission.
She was speaking at the launch of Child Month 2008, at the Institute of Jamaica on East Street, Downtown Kingston on April 8.
“The Minister of Education, Andrew Holness, has been doing a considerable amount of work towards effecting the proposals and I am sure he has the full support of most parents and persons who are implicitly concerned about the welfare of our children,” she remarked.
Minister Grange also expressed concern about the breakdown of family life in the society and the subsequent impact this has had on the nation’s children and by extension, the country.
“We are extremely concerned about the levels of violence in our schools and the involvement of our children in acts of crime and violence as well as the levels and numbers at which they are the victims, whether by the gun or motor vehicle accidents on our roads,” the Minister lamented.
The public, she further noted, had a role to play in trying to resolve these many issues. To this end, she posited that there was a need to rethink the approach in how adults disciplined children, both in schools and at home.
“Our children have lost many of their values, because their families and homes have been destroyed,” she said.
Child Month will officially kick off on May 4 with a church service at the May Pen Methodist Church in Clarendon. This will be followed by Action Day, which is equivalent of Labour Day for children on May 16, and then the National Child Month Committee Essay and Poster Competition Awards on May 30.