JIS News

Minister of Education, Hon Andrew Holness, is discouraging parents from allowing economic and other pressures to get in the way of spending quality time with their children.
“Our children are the future and if we allow the difficulties of today to make it impossible for us to bring up our children in the right way, then our future will be probably no different or probably worse than our present,” he said.
Mr. Holness was speaking at the official launch of Parent Month 2010, at Jamaica House, Friday (October 29). Parent Month is being observed this year under the theme ‘Parent the Right Way- Read, Talk, Play with Your Child Every Day’.
He urged parents to become more involved in ensuring their children’s education, and said the Ministry was pushing to have parent-teacher conferences become a regular feature of the education system. He also explained that these conferences would involve parents meeting with teachers on a one-on-one basis, at least once a year, to discuss their children’s progress and educational needs.
Mr. Holness also wants parents to talk to their children and use alternative methods of obtaining desired behaviour, rather than resorting to corporal punishment.
“Talk with your child, encourage them, support them. Don’t be afraid to hug your child, even if you have no reason to hug them. Don’t be afraid to sit with your child and read with your child,” he urged.
Parent Month is observed annually in November, and will this year be marked by a series of activities designed to have parents spending more time with their children. Some of the activities include a national church service, several parenting workshops, health fair for parents, a banner and poster competition and a parenting fair.
In addition, Senior Advisor in the Ministry of Education, Dr. Rebecca Tortello, said the Ministry is promoting the concept of a family play day, which would include parents and children playing various games together.
She urged parents to set aside at least one day this month for a family play day, with the aim of making it a long-term activity in their households. The Ministry is also promoting a family movie night and family dinners during the month of November.
The Coalition for Better Parenting is the Ministry’s main partner in the observance of Parent Month. Its chairman, Janet Davis, stated that parents should empower themselves to be better parents by actively planning for their children. She said this includes learning to read, so they can better help their children and attend workshops designed to help them in carrying out their duties.
President of the National Parent-Teacher Association of Jamaica, Marcia McCauseland Wilson, said this month her organisation will be focusing on helping parents to understand their responsibilities towards their children.

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