President of the Senate, Hon. Floyd Morris, says that parents must be held accountable for the poor performance of their children in school.
He made the call, as he delivered the keynote address at the 21st staging of the Montego Co-operative Credit Union Schools’ Academic Championship Quiz, held on Wednesday, June 26, at the Montego Bay Civic Centre in St. James.
According to Senator Morris, parents are not providing the necessary supervision and support of their children’s studies, in order for the country to realize the returns from the billions of dollars invested in education each year, and they should be “brought to book”.
“This year alone, the Government is spending approximately $77 billion, and when you match that with what is being done by private sector companies, I am certain that the figure for education is running well over $100 billion…but, I don’t believe that we are getting the type of returns that we should be getting,” he stated.
“I believe that the necessary support systems that are supposed to be in place are not there. I am very disappointed with the sort of parental support that is being given to the education of our children. How can a parent have a child at home and that child traverse primary school and high school, graduate from both institutions, but is not able to read and write? It must be poor parental supervision that is contributing to such a situation,” the Senator said.
Citing his own experience, Senator Morris said that being blind did not prevent him from earning two degrees and to now be pursuing a doctorate, as his mother instilled in him the value of education. He said that similarly, parents and students need to take education seriously.
Stating that lack of financial resources should not be an excuse for poor academic performance, he said the Government is spending over $4 billion through the Programme for Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH), to provide assistance for needy children, and is also paying for some subjects in external examinations.
“In my days, I never had the access to those offerings. No book rental, no school feeding programme, no PATH programme. Yet I see some children step out of their homes to the roadway, and a little rain drizzle, and they not going to school. We have to change that attitude and approach towards education in our country,” he stated.
“I see Government paying for the four or five subjects for children at the secondary level, and students don’t turn up to do the exams. I can’t believe what is happening in our country with our parents when it comes on to the supervision of their children. It cannot be fair that taxpayers are subsidising the education of the nation’s children, but yet still we are not getting the effort of ensuring that the students go and do the exams,” he lamented.
Contact: Garfield L. Angus