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  • These fairs will provide assistance to parents whose children will be attending secondary schools in the new academic year
  • The fairs will take the form of information sessions and mini workshops
  • medical personnel will be conducting free health checks for students

The Ministry of Education, through the National Parenting Support Commission (NPSC), will host a series of Information Fairs during the month of August, under the theme: ‘Surviving the Transition to Secondary School’.

These fairs are being staged to provide assistance to parents whose children will be attending secondary schools in the new academic year. The first in the series will take place on Sunday, August 11 at Jamaica College, Kingston, while the second takes place on Saturday, August 24, at Port Antonio High School in Portland.

The third and final fair will be held on Tuesday, August 27, at the St. Hilda’s High School in St. Ann. The fairs will commence at 12:00 noon daily.

“We want to teach parents how to help their children through this transition by providing  them with coping mechanisms, and parents should be able to pass on these coping mechanisms to their children,” Executive Director of the NPSC, Dr. Patrece Charles told JIS in an interview.

Dr. Charles emphasised that this initiative demonstrates the commitment of the Government towards providing support for parents.

The fairs will take the form of information sessions and mini workshops. Parents will be given the opportunity to interact with each other and exchange notes.

The main highlights of the fairs will be workshops targeting fathers, and the showcasing of a model ‘parent place’.

“We are going to be engaging fathers. We want them to better understand their role and the impact it has on their children’s lives and how it enhances the relationship between them and the children,” Dr. Charles said.

Several State agencies, including Office of the Children’s Advocate,  Child Development Agency, Registrar General’s Department, Ministry of Labour and Social Security, National Health Fund (NHF) and National Council on Drug Abuse (NCDA), will be on hand to assist parents.

In addition, medical personnel, including doctors, will be conducting free health checks for students. The Ministry of Education Guidance Counsellors Association will also host counselling sessions.

The NPSC, which operates through the Education System Transformation Programme (ESTP), has a mandate to co-ordinate activities relating to parenting and parenting support.

Its main objective is to implement the National Parenting Policy of Jamaica that gives support to parental organisations, by teaching them about the laws of the Child Protection Act, and ensuring that children are protected and not neglected.