THE National Parenting Support Commission (NPSC), in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Youth, will train 30,000 parents in effective parenting during November, which is being celebrated as Parent Month.
Speaking with JIS News, executive director of the NPSC, Kaysia Kerr said that the month will be observed under the theme ‘Participation for Purpose’, which is a call to action for parents to understand that their participation in education matters.
“During National Parent Month we are focusing primarily on training, educating and upskilling our parents, and we really want our parents to take it seriously,” she added. Training will not just be related to the theme, Kerr pointed out, as needs assessment will be done and each school will respond to the needs of these parents and ensure that the training is customised to meet these needs. Guidance counsellors, social workers, deans of discipline, and school nurses will be enlisted to ensure that training happens right across the school system.
In defining the theme, Kerr disclosed that three pillars will be the underpinning focus. First is, ‘Start at home’, which means parents must understand what they do at home in terms of training their children, attending to their needs, teaching them social graces, or helping them to understand boundaries really promotes discipline as the children transition into school and the wider society. The second pillar is ‘Enrol into a parenting education class’, means that it is important for parents to upskill, said Kerr.
“The way we parented 10 years ago is not the same way we parent now because so much has changed in society. Children are different because they are exposed to more information, and so parents will need to understand this information age and, therefore, build their own skill set to respond to the present-day children,” she explained.
She pointed out the NPSC has cutting-edge information that can help them in their practices and support them on their journey.
The commission also partners with the HEART/NSTA Trust and e-Learning Jamaica to offer a course called 21st-century parenting. The course focuses on parents using new technologies available to build and develop their children.
The third pillar is ‘It is your school; own it’, Kerr said. She reiterated that the commission was established to ensure that after coordinating services for parents, they will be better partners in education.
In addition, she said, “The education outcomes that we want for all students across the system will not be realised if we don’t have parental involvement.”
The training of the 30,000 parents during November feeds into an overall target of the NPSC to train 100,000 parents across the country between July 2023 and June 2024, and Kerr has encouraged private learning institutions to also participate in the training of their parents and also urged parents to attend these sessions.
No registration is required, and sessions are free of cost.