JIS News

Minister of Education, Andrew Holness, has said that the level of indiscipline affecting the society, has forced the Government to think seriously about how to make home school agreements enforceable in a court of law.
“We are under immense pressure in dealing with students who have problems adjusting to the school environment, because they don’t have the level of support from the home. We are dealing with students who are very violent, students who are very aggressive, students who refuse to follow the instructions of teachers, because there is no parallel reinforcement taking place at the home,” Mr. Holness said.
The Minister, who was speaking at an awards ceremony and the launch of the Melrose Primary and Junior High School Parents’/Students’ Handbook, at the school in Kingston, today (October 16), added that the Government was cognisant of the situation and has decided to establish a Parenting Commission, that is designed to elevate the importance of parenting in the minds of parents.
“It is designed to give parents support, because as parents you will sometimes have situations where you feel I just cannot manage this child. So, the Government has decided to add tangible support to parents and to parenting in Jamaica, because the schools alone cannot deal with all the social problems,” Mr. Holness said.
He pointed out that the Commission would provide information on proper parenting practices and would also provide critical support in terms of counselling and intervention.
“Sometimes you have children and you do not know what to do with them, you don’t know who to call on for help, you don’t know where to turn for advice. This Commission will be there for you to call for advice, support and for intervention, where necessary,” Mr. Holness said.
The Minister emphasised that what is happening in the home, should be supportive of what is happening in the schools.
“So, when the Principal is delivering the instructions to help your child articulate in the society, to help your child be a productive citizen in the society, the same thing must be done at the home. If punctuality is required in the school then the home must support the school in ensuring that children are punctual,” Mr. Holness said.
The Minister said he was pleased that Melrose had developed the Parents’/Students’ Handbook.
“Several schools have already done so and where they have home school agreements in place, I am pleased to report that the level of discipline has increased and the participation of parents has also increased,” Mr. Holness informed.
Member of Parliament for St. Andrew East Central, Dr. Peter Phillips, commended the school and all those who contributed to the preparation of the Parents’/Students’ Handbook.
“I want to urge the parents to accept responsibility, to assist and guide the children to accept all the principles and standards in the handbook,” Dr. Phillips said.
The Parents’/Students’ Handbook outlines the duties, responsibilities and roles of all the partners in the education system.