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Story Highlights

  • Education Minister, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, is calling on Jamaican men to play a greater role in the lives of their children.
  • He said mothers must now start demanding more from the fathers of their children, while fathers must stop being the person “who sends a change to support their children.”
  • The Minister also had a caution for women who sometimes fall into the category of having children for careless men.

Education Minister, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, is calling on Jamaican men to play a greater role in the lives of their children.

“Absentee fatherhood is pulling down Jamaica and it does not matter how much money we get, we will not be able to restore Jamaica, unless we restore family life to its proper order,” the Minister said.

Rev. Thwaites, who joined hundreds of mourners on Sunday, June 1, at a thanksgiving service for twin boys Brandon and Brayden Jones, at the Kings Seventh Day Adventist Church in Montego Bay, said mothers must now start demanding more from the fathers of their children, while fathers must stop being the person “who sends a change to support their children.”

He said that while money plays a role in the process of rearing children, it is not the main thing. “Even if your pocket is ‘bruk’, stay close to your wife, your baby mother and to your children,” he encouraged.

Meanwhile, the Minister said the death of Brandon and Brayden and other tragedies have sent a message for all Jamaicans to recognize that being a good parent is the most important thing any human being can do, and that goes not just for mothers, but for fathers too.

“Children need their mother and father wherever possible and therefore there is a lesson to the men. First of all, it is not good enough to give the woman the child and check back occasionally to put some money where it is needed…children need the influence of their fathers, so they can become well behaved and  disciplined learners,” he  argued.

The Minister also had a caution for women who sometimes fall into the category of having children for careless men.  “Our women who bear so much must be careful as it is not good enough to allow yourself to have children for men you do not know well enough to be sure they are going to be responsible fathers. You as mothers must be prepared to be responsible to play a role in ensuring that your child is brought up well and that your personal issues are not placed above that of giving of your best to your child,” the Minister said.

Opposition Leader,  Andrew Holness, who also spoke, said the Government should seize the opportunity to launch a national safe campaign, aimed at educating the public, especially children, on how to operate during natural occurrences, such as heavy rainfall.

Both boys were swept away by flood waters in the Green Pond gully, in Montego Bay, on their way from school.

Member of Parliament for Central St. James, Lloyd B. Smith and Member of Parliament for North West St. James, Dr. Horace Chang, were also in attendance.