MONTEGO BAY — Minister of Education, Hon. Andrew Holness, has said that poor parenting could be at the root of social problems being experienced in the education sector.
He added however that, although the parenting gap is taking its toll on the teaching/learning situation in schools, Government has to be careful about how it intervenes directly into the private domain of a parent and their child.
Mr. Holness said that he does not believe that the government should intervene in an overbearing way, but that the effects of poor parenting is a social cost to the society. As long as this liability exists, then the government should provide guidance and counselling, and if necessary regulations and enforcement, the Minister opined.
He was addressing Thursday’s (June 16) plenary session on the fourth day of the five-day 2011 International Conference of the International Association for Counsellors, being held at the Holiday Inn Sunspree Resort, in Rose Hall, St. James.
Meanwhile, Minister Holness argued that the government has to ensure that the present generation makes the best of the educational opportunities that they have, and that they leave school with meaningful skills, and contribute as efficient workers and law abiding citizens.
He noted that whilst the government is developing the long term plan to address the social fallout of poor parenting, the positive impact of which should become visible within 10 years, in the interim the schools will have to be strengthened to deal with the parenting deficit.
Mr. Holness noted that in the planning going forward the government will be seeking to increase the support services in schools, and include topics such as character development and civics, as an important part of the revised curriculum in the coming year.
By BRYAN MILLER, JIS Reporter