Parents to Receive Critical Support

Photo: Claudia Gardner Managing Director of the National Education Trust (NET), Marcia Phillips Dawkins, speaks at a regional parenting stakeholders meeting held on February 16 at the Holiday Inn in Montego Bay.

Story Highlights

  • Parents are to benefit from critical support to improve child-rearing under the Partnership for Improved Safety and Security in Schools project.
  • The project, which aims to reduce violence among students and youth, is being undertaken by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information through US$3 million in grant funding over two years from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
  • Parenting Coordinator for the project, Latoya Stewart-Singh, said that a media campaign geared towards educating parents in good child-rearing practices will commence shortly.

Parents are to benefit from critical support to improve child-rearing under the Partnership for Improved Safety and Security in Schools project.

The project, which aims to reduce violence among students and youth, is being undertaken by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information through US$3 million in grant funding over two years from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

The National Education Trust (NET) is the coordinating agency for the initiative.

Parenting Coordinator for the project, Latoya Stewart-Singh, said that a media campaign geared towards educating parents in good child-rearing practices will commence shortly.

“We want to establish six community-based parent hubs and reactivate 25 school-based parent places. We want to identify and train at least 30 parent mentors per parish. We also want to audit 50 school-based parent places and assist in the reactivation of those places, with specific focus on training parents in good parenting practices as well as entrepreneurial skills,” she noted.

She was speaking at a regional parenting stakeholders meeting for Region IV held on Friday (February 16) at the Holiday Inn hotel in Montego Bay.

A parent place or hub is a resource centre where parents can access relevant information on parenting and other family-related issues geared towards improving parenting skills and family life.

Managing Director of the NET, Marcia Phillips Dawkins, informed that the community of Mount Salem in St. James will be the first beneficiary of a parent place.

She indicated that NET is working to set up homework centres in some institutions as well as at youth information centres (YICs) in a number of townships across the island. Another key component of the project, she said, involves working with uniformed groups, to engage young people.

The Partnership for Improved Safety and Security in Schools project is targeted at young people aged 10 to 29 years. A total of 981 primary schools and 50 communities across the island will benefit.

Among the specific objectives are to reduce violence, antisocial behaviour and critical incidents among youth, engage parents and communities in the behaviour change process, increase student involvement in co-curricular activities in order for them to develop better social and life skills, and promote positive values and attitudes at both school and community levels.

The project will also involve construction and repair of perimeter fencing, provision of security monitoring equipment, and increasing the number of security personnel in schools.

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