JIS: Minister of Education, Youth and Information Ruel Reid has charged his ministry, the National Parenting Support Commission (NPSC) in particular, to rescue the country from the crime epidemic.

 

In his keynote address at the National Parent Month Media Launch at the Terra Nova All Suite Hotel in St Andrew yesterday, Reid indicated that no longer would the Ministry of National Security be central to the fight against crime, but instead, his ministry and the NPSC would be leading from the front to effect positive behaviour change.

 

"If Professor Herbert Gayle is indeed accurate - that a large part of the crime problem stems from an aspect of single parenting, more so vulnerable, single mothers who actually torture their boys because they themselves are stressed and they become hardened criminals and repeat murderers - I am giving charge to the chairman and CEO (chief executive officer) of the NPSC, along with the permanent secretary, to work together to ensure that we lead from the front and find every such parent or household that finds themselves so vulnerable," Reid said.

 

While adding that positive parenting was an important aspect of the country's social fabric, he endorsed the Parent Month theme, 'Be The Influence'.

  

THREE-PRONGED APPROACH

  

To this end, CEO of the NPSC Kaysia Kerr outlined a three-pronged approach to position parents and guardians as good influencers in the lives of their children.

 

"The first is to get involved. Parents must pay attention to the day-to-day happenings in their children's life. Get involved means initiating conversations, probing, listening actively, not with a view to ridiculing, but to giving guidance and support," Kerr reasoned.

 

She further cautioned parents to lead by example, while encouraging their children's dreams.

 

"There are many influencers out there who, based on their status and popularity, have managed to capitalise on the gaps in parenting and have become the example for our children. The NPSC is imploring parents at this time to be the example. Additionally, parents should not place boundaries on children's ambitions," Kerr added.

 

Activities planned for Parent Month include a church service on November 5 at the Calvary Baptist Church in Montego Bay, St James; a parent village hosted in Kingston at Hope Gardens, and in Montego Bay, Jarrett Park, on November 11 and 25, respectively. There will also be Primary Exit Profile sensitisation sessions for parents across the six regions.

 

CAPTION: Kaysia A. Kerr (centre), chief executive officer of the National Parenting Support Commission, chats with Mark Ellenthorpe (right), managing director of ATL Automotive Group, and Marigold Harding (second right), deputy chairman of the council, Institute of Jamaica, while students of Green Island High look on. The occasion was the launch of National Parent Month at the Terra Nova All Suite Hotel, St Andrew, yesterday.