The National Parenting Support Commission (NPSC) today (October 30) launched National Parent Month 2020, which will be observed in November.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the NPSC, Kaysia Kerr, said the theme for the Month, ‘Fathers Rise, Lead and Be Wise’, was carefully coined and was shaped out of a need to acknowledge fathers and to involve them in the education process.
According to Ms. Kerr, in preparation for the celebration, officers from the NPSC carried out extensive on-the-ground research using focus groups to hear the concerns of fathers across selected Regions.
The research revealed that fathers want to be involved in the lives of their children and have no aversion to formal training in parenting. However, they want a more targeted approach, zeroing in on their concerns and deficits in parenting.
The Month’s activities will commence with the National Church Service, to be held on Sunday, November 1 at the Escarpment Road New Testament Church of God, 3B Escarpment Road, Kingston 5, starting at 10:00 a.m.
This will be followed by a series of virtual parenting education workshops, and one virtual National Parent Village.
The Month’s celebrations will culminate with a virtual Parent Awards ceremony.
Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Fayval Williams, who gave the keynote address at the virtual launch, commended the NPSC for the hard work that it is doing in organising consultations and information-sharing sessions to help parents better deal with the emotional and mental stress brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mrs. Williams said she is particularly pleased with this year’s theme and emphasis chosen – the call to encourage and support fathers to be more involved and to continue where they have already been in parenting their children.
“Too often parenting is seen as the primary responsibility of the mother, and our children grow up yearning for the love, affection and guidance of both parents,” she said.
According to Mrs. Williams, Parent Month observance comes against the background of the COVID-19 crisis, and the need for more home-based support in educating the children.
“Despite the challenges, it is a great opportunity for bonding, spending time together, to share values and to be supportive of our children, especially our boys,” she noted.
Meanwhile, the NPSC Head is encouraging all school leaders and members of the National Parent Sector to focus on fathers and prospective fathers for National Parent Month and beyond.