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Minister of Education, Andrew Holness, is calling on parents to be more vigilant in protecting their children, especially in light of the recent spate of violent attacks against them.
“In light of what is happening in our society and the great panic that is in our society, regarding violence towards our children, and the unfortunate incidents that have occurred with many of our children, I would like to take this opportunity to appeal to our parents, to take greater care and effort in protecting our children,” Mr. Holness implored.
The Minister made this plea during the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), with Spanish Ambassador, Jesus Silva, for the provision of accommodation for parents at several Spanish hotels, at the Ministry’s headquarters in Kingston, on November 14.
“Whilst the State has a responsibility to provide security, parents have an even greater responsibility in ensuring that they protect their children, and it is not necessarily protection in terms of security, but protection in terms of love and care, in terms of attention and effort, in terms of wishing the best for your children, and ensuring that you put out the best for your children,” Mr. Holness said.
The agreement is being facilitated by the Spanish-Jamaica Foundation, and is part of Parenting Month (November) activities, which include workshops and other events to help parents become more effective parents.
Twelve parents will be given the opportunity to enjoy a week-end for two, at four of the hotels in the RIU group, free of cost. They will be nominated by students, through a parenting competition in the six regions of the Ministry. Two parents will then be selected from each region.
Senior Advisor in the Ministry and Chair of the Parent Month Planning Committee, Dr. Rebecca Tortello, said that the parents who are chosen by the Ministry, would have embodied strong, efficient and effective parenting. “The Ministry will then use these model parents in workshops with other parents, to share best practices,” she informed.
Ambassador Silva, who is President of the Spanish-Jamaica Foundation, said that the nine Spanish Groups that form the Spanish-Jamaica Foundation, have embarked on several projects, that are meant to be instruments to help with the development of important sectors of the Jamaican society and economy. He said the Board expressed its will to get more involved in the education and health sectors. “So, the proposal that came from the Minister of Education, was very timely. Certainly, this is only the first of, hopefully, many other possibilities that we will partner to do, in the field of education,” he noted.
The Foundation is a non-profit organisation that was created in 2006, by the Spanish groups that are currently investing in Jamaica.
Parenting Month is being celebrated under the theme – ‘Parenting: Right From the Start’.