ANCHOVY, St James — President of the Jamaica Teachers’ Association (JTA) Owen Speid is calling for tough sanctions against parents who neglect the role of raising their children. “I believe that if parentsâ¦ continue to be delinquent, they should be punished with hard labour and sentenced [to] community service at the school.
“And if they don’t abide by that kind of ruling by a judge, or maybe a JP (Justice of the Peace), then they should take the harsher punishment,” Speid told the inauguration of the executive committee of the just-launched Anchovy High School Past Students’ Association on Thursday.
Speid argued that there has to be something in place to hold parents accountable, as school teachers cannot be the only ones tasked with the upbringing of children.
“There are some parents, no matter how many times you call them in to deal with a matter concerning their children, they never come. It is full time that we wake up and acknowledge that teachers alone cannot do it. We need the parents on board to play their roles,” declared Speid.
It has often been argued that poor parenting is a major contributing factor to the many ills bedevilling the Jamaican society and Speid is adamant that parents must be made to play their role.
“Indeed, I believe [that] better mothering, and better fathering, would do the trick in this country to help the children to understand what it means to be patient, what it means to be responsible, what it means to show care, what it means to show mindfulness and how their actions affect other people around them,” said Speid.
He charged that for too long delinquent parents have been getting away with “almost murder”.
“They have gotten away with reluctance to be a part of their children’s education, growth and development,” charged Speid as he urged past students’ associations to play a role in encouraging parents to be more active in the development of their children.
The JTA president argued that while there is a need to start a social and emotional intelligence programme in the homes, a similar programme needs to be introduced in schools.
He said the social and emotional intelligence programme should start at the infant level and continue into tertiary institutions with teachers being involved.
Speid noted that the Code of Regulations for teachers is currently under review and declared the JTA will be playing a vital part in the process.
But he argued that in looking out for factors affecting teachers and teaching in the nation’s schools, there is a need to look at parenting.
During the ceremony journalist Albert Ferguson was installed as first president of the Anchovy High Past Students’ Association.
Ferguson will be supported by a 10-member executive committee. They will serve for two years.
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