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Education Minister Urges Parents to Put Children First

Ruel Reid

 JIS: Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Senator Ruel Reid, is appealing to parents not to choose entertainment over the care and protection of their children.

Addressing a ‘Safe Children Forum’ in May Pen earlier this week, Senator Reid noted that parents have been leaving young children at home in the care of older siblings to attend popular entertainment events.

These activities, he said, often take precedence over assisting with homework, and providing general guidance.

“We have to continue to educate all adults to understand that it is not acceptable to leave a three-year-old child under the supervision of a six-year-old, while they go to dances,” Senator Reid pointed out.

Stressing that this does not only happen in poorer households, Senator Reid said he has had reports of well-to-do parents regularly abandoning their children to attend “every red-carpet event, or almost every activity that might produce a photograph for social pages of the newspapers.”

The Safe Children Forum, staged by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in collaboration with the Office of the Children’s Advocate (OCA), is part of a series aimed at strengthening parenting skills and keeping the country’s children safe.

The Education Minister commended the intervention, noting that society needs to “unlearn” many of the parenting traditions that have been cemented in the culture.

“Murderation is not the same as discipline,” he pointed out.

“Many of the culturally accepted norms that have not produced good results must give way for other customs necessary for the safety of children,” he added. 


CAPTION:  Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, addresses a Safe Children Forum staged by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEG), the Office of the Children’s Advocate (OCA) and other partners on April 19, at the Versalles Hotell in May Pen, Clarendon.