Speech

Prime Minister Portia Simpson says the country has not adequately voiced the issue of parental responsibilities and sufficiently tackled parenting concerns.

Speaking at the launch of Phase 11 of the European Union-funded Rise Life Community Upliftment & Human Rights Awareness Project and the Rise Parenting College in Majesty Gardens, St Andrew on Wednesday (January 23), the Prime Minister said the launch of the Parenting College is critical and comes at a time when poor parenting is being highlighted through cases of child abuse.

“Among the difficulties we are dealing with as a nation is that of children who come into conflict with the law. In recent times, we have heard a great deal about the Government’s deficiency in dealing with these troubled children but we continue to work to address these deficiencies,” the Prime Minister said.

“The nation has not spoken enough about the responsibilities of parents both in the upbringing of their children before they got into trouble and parental responsibility after the children are placed in the care of the State,” Mrs. Simpson Miller said.

“Parents of children who end up in difficulty with the law must begin to understand that, in many cases, how they treat their children is directly related to what happens to them,” she added.

Noting that responsible parenting and proper family planning are critical to national discussions about the future of our children, the Prime Minister told the parents at the function that the standard of family life needs to be elevated as family planning does not only include planning how many children you will have but how to adequately care for them.

The Prime Minister called on parents to play an enhanced role in the lives of their children, and underscored the need for love, discipline, strong moral values and empowerment as among the positive attitudes that must be imparted.

The Prime Minister expressed gratitude to the European Union for the assistance it has given the country over the years and noted that it is through partnerships like the Rise Life Parenting College with the private sector that transformation in parenting can be achieved.

The Rise Life Community Upliftment & Human Rights Awareness Project targets inner-city communities with focus on juvenile delinquents; children in places of safety, parenting and GSAT education, prevention of sexual violence against women and children along with human rights education.