Prime Minister the Hon. Bruce Golding is of the view that there is a need to examine the expanded, unregulated and distracting choices available to young people and in particular boys.
He said there are too many impulses coming at youngsters from too many directions. “Where are they going to find time to focus on their academic learning?. Where are they going to find time to be trained in a particular way? I think that this myriad of alternatives that are now available to young people and particularly our boys require far greater parental guidance and intervention than it did when I was a youngster. I don’t think it is getting that response”, Mr. Golding said.
The Prime Minister was addressing this morning’s (May 6) session of a World Bank regional conference on ‘Keeping Boys out of Risk’ at the Rose Hall Hotel in Montego Bay St. James.
Mr. Golding said Government is addressing the situation in a number of ways, including expansion of the Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH). He said there is also the establishment of a parenting commission which is an attempt to provide a legislative framework that would encourage institutional support with legal authority to make the kind of intervention that Government feels is necessary. He said that Bill should be before Cabinet next week.
Prime Minister, the Hon. Bruce Golding, makes a point to Vice President of the World Bank, Pamela Cox during today’s (May 6) session of the Regional Caribbean Conference on ‘Keeping Boys out of Risk’ at the Rose Hall Resort in St. James. The three-day conference, which opened yesterday (May 5), is a joint initiative between the World Bank and the Commonwealth Secretariat, and is aimed at addressing the problem of boys at risk in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Mr. Golding said another intervention made with the support of the World Bank, is designed to address that cohort in targeted areas of health, education and nutrition. The Prime Minister noted that up to last year there was a fixed amount but the allocation for boys was increased in an attempt to encourage greater participation by boys at school.
“What we are trying to do is influence them (boys) to come to school.” He has called for a report to determine how effective this programme has been.
The World Bank and the Commonwealth Secretariat have joined forces to address the emerging problem of boys at risk in Latin American and Caribbean countries. This is being treated as a gender issue related to development challenges such as alienation of boys from education, drop-outs of schools, crime and violence, alleged male marginalisation, access to labour market and poverty alleviation.
This morning’s session was addressed by the Vice President of the World Bank Pamela Cox, and was followed by a private meeting between Prime Minister Golding and executives of the World Bank.