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  • Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, is appealing to parents to play their part in steering their children away from violent tendencies and criminal activity.
  • The Prime Minister was speaking at a ceremony at the Seaward Primary and Junior High School on Olympic Way in St. Andrew, on September 5, hosted by the Community Safety and Security Branch of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF).
  • Mr. Holness urged parents to avoid using corporal punishment as a way of curbing children’s behaviour, noting that it might serve to engender violent tendencies in them.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, is appealing to parents to play their part in steering their children away from violent tendencies and criminal activity.

Noting that violence is being used in some circles as the first means of resolving conflict, he emphasised that parents have a crucial role to play in letting the “good in the community overcome the bad”.

The Prime Minister  was speaking at a ceremony at the Seaward Primary and Junior High School on Olympic Way in St. Andrew, on September  5, hosted by the Community Safety and Security Branch of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF).

The ceremony recognised the school’s 60th anniversary and also focused on promoting safety in schools.

Mr. Holness urged parents to avoid using corporal punishment as a way of curbing children’s behaviour, noting that it might serve to engender violent tendencies in them.

“I understand sometimes the pressures that you are under… but I beg you, stop beating our children. When you do that, you are teaching the child that the only way to resolve conflict is to resort to violence,” he said.

“I believe we must grow up children with love and teach them to respect each other and to reason things out,” he added.

Mr. Holness hailed the JCF for putting on the programme, which also engaged a group of 50 parents in a parenting session in a mobile classroom. He said he is pleased with the effective way the police have been partnering with the community.

He also congratulated the school for how prepared it was for the start of the school year, and hailed improvements in literacy at the institution, which falls in his St. Andrew West Central constituency.

He called on the parents to ensure that they send their children to school and make all necessary sacrifices to support their education.

“How do you measure the progress of a generation? It is when each generation does better than the one before. Your job as parents is to make sure that your children, the generation that is coming, do better than you. That is the true measure of growth,” he said.

Mr. Holness said it is recognition of the financial struggles of some parents that formed the basis for the tuition-free policy, which took effect this academic year, and reiterated the Government’s position that no student should be turned back from school for having not paid school fees.

He encouraged parents to report schools which have turned back their children for non-payment of fees.

The Prime Minister thanked private-sector entities that have given support to the Seaward Primary and Junior High School and were present as sponsors of the day’s activities, including Digicel, Jamaican Teas Ltd. and TankWeld Ltd.

Also  addressing the function were Education, Youth and Information Minister, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid; State Minister of National Security, Hon. Pearnel Charles Jr; and Commissioner of Police, Dr. Carl Williams.