Parents from 566 schools get parenting skills training

MORE than 40,000 parents were trained in an effort to improve their parenting skills in the lead-up to the start of the new school year.

Minister of Education and Youth Fayval Williams announced the number (40,199) yesterday as she provided an update on the start of the 2023-2024 school year during a post-Cabinet media briefing at Jamaica House.

Williams said the training was carried out through the Department of Schools Services and the National Parent Support Commission, in collaboration with the Ministry of National Security’s Citizens and Security Programme.

“As you know, parents are our very important stakeholders in education and to start the new school year with so many parents engaged due to this programme is very encouraging,” said Williams.

“We believe this is the beginning of improved parent/teacher relationships and greater involvement of our parents in a constructive way in the lives of their children as they make their way to and from school and that our parents will know more about what is happening with them,” added Williams.

According to Williams, the Department of Schools Services and the National Parent Support Commission monitored the parental engagement programme which was conducted in 566 schools across the island.

“And we are expecting to see increased positive behaviours in those schools,” said Williams.

“I want to urge parents to continue to be active and constructive in their children’s education, not just their academic lives but also their holistic development,” she added.

The education minister has repeatedly stressed her commitment to improved relationships between parents and teachers and on Monday urged schools to engage parents and guardians in matters pertinent to the interests and development of their child/children.

“Let us continue to strengthen partnerships and be an advocate for our children,” said Williams as she reminded school administrators that denying access to education as punishment is not only counterproductive, it is illegal.

“Barring students from schools contravenes Article 28 of the United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child, to which Jamaica is a signatory, The Education Act, 1965 as well as the 2004 Childcare and Protection Act which is built on the ‘best interest’ principle and also states that school leaders and teachers are acting in loco parentis [in place of a parent],” said Williams.