MONTEGO BAY — Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Hon. Gregory Mair, has expressed concerns over the proliferation of mass media and technology that are exposing children to information outside the control of their parents.
Mr. Mair, who was delivering the main address at the 2011 National Parents Awards ceremony, held at the RIU Hotel and Resorts, in Ocho Rios, on Friday, December 2, said the effect of this can be detrimental.
He pointed out that the Government is concerned, not just about the effects on children and families, but on national values and culture as a whole.
Emphasising the importance of good parenting and the responsibilities that go with it, Mr. Mair said each parent must be held accountable for the education of their children and the values instilled in them, insisting that the responsibility for the upbringing of a child rest squarely with parents.
Meanwhile, he said the state’s role is to support parents in the discharge of their duties, by ensuring that they are aware of their rights, and responsibilities under the law, as well as existing resources that can enable them to meet these responsibilities.
He noted that the Ministry is in the process of establishing a National Parents Support Network, to facilitate the National Parenting Policy, which was tabled in Parliament earlier this year.
"This network will assist by ensuring greater collaboration across the governmental and non-governmental sectors, in providing parents with access to existing state resources," he informed.
He further noted that the government, through the Ministry of Education, has embarked on a number of initiatives, aimed at finding solutions and ways of assisting parents, in strengthening and improving their parenting skills.
Spanish Ambassador to Jamaica, and President of the Spanish-Jamaica Foundation, Her Excellency Celsa Nuno, expressed pleasure at partnering with the Ministry of Education in the recognition of model parents, noting that “parents are key to the construction of a better social framework, whatever country we live in”.
Six fathers and six mothers were honoured at the ceremony for their exemplary parenting skills.The awards are staged annually by the Ministry in collaboration with the Coalition for Better Parenting, and the Spanish-Jamaica Foundation.
By Bryan Miller, JIS Reporter