JIS News

The region five office of the Ministry of Education and Youth yesterday (Nov.16) staged a Regional Parent Information Exposition in Mandeville, to provide caregivers with information to enhance their parenting skills and communication techniques.
Under the theme: ‘Parents: Today you guide, tomorrow they lead’, the event, the first of its kind in the region, attracted hundreds of parents, teachers, students and education officials.
Chief Organizer of the expo, Charmaine Gooden Monteith, expressed delight in the day’s activities. “I am very happy, in fact overwhelmed and very pleased to see the parents, who are here and to see our sponsors. I am so overjoyed,” Mrs. Monteith said.
According to Mrs. Monteith, “one of the challenges that we have found is that parents sometimes, when they have problems, they don’t know where to turn to, or what to do, and that is why we have invited persons from the Child Development Agency (CDA), the probation officers, the police and other agencies that they can get information from”.
She expressed the hope that parents would leave the event fully armed with knowledge and some of the skills to be effective parents. “We are hoping that as important stakeholder partners, the parents, when they come in and learn, instead of being reactive, they will be proactive, so they will know what exactly to do and they will be fully informed so that when they go back to their homes or to the parent teachers associations, they will be able to share all these ideas, and . be able to manage their affairs in the home,” Mrs. Monteith informed.
Meanwhile, Regional Director for region five, Reuben Gray, noted that “it is important . that parents set a type of foundation that the youngsters, who take over this country and manage it, will be able to .manage it well. It is our duty to ensure that their level of management is at a high standard. Therefore, I implore all parents to take the business of parenting very seriously, which is the reason we have organized this forum”.
Guest speaker of the Expo, Psychologist Dr. Orlean Brown-Earle, urged parents to practice what they preach and to learn from their mistakes. “Yes, we are going to slip up, we’re not perfect, but when we recognize our mistakes, we must try not to do them again,” she said.
Parent and retired teacher, Yvonne Lovelace told JIS News that the expo was very informative and interesting. “I attended the expo to find out more about parenting as .I think that I needed to learn more”, she stated. “I know that most of the parents who are here have learnt a lot,” she added. Maxine Chance, a parent from Porus in Manchester, stated that “it’s a great opportunity for me, because I’ve learnt a lot, the proper way of training a child and not to say negative things to them”.
The parenting expo was one of several activities to mark Parent Month in November.
Among the organizations, which participated in the event were: the CDA, Department of Correctional Services, Mico College Care Centre, the Scientific Research Council, the Early Childhood Resource Centre at Church Teachers College, and Blue Cross of Jamaica.