Education Ministry takes parenting workshop to Uitvlugt

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The Ministry of Education, in keeping with its thrust to ensure that parents in vulnerable communities recognise the value of education, has taken the national parenting workshop drive to the Uitvlugt Community Centre. The two-day initiative held in the Region Three community focused on a range of issues, including positive parenting, alternative forms of discipline, teenage pregnancy, and truancy.
National Parent Teachers Association (PTA) Coordinator Carol Benn said significant attention was also placed on the dress code and unacceptable behaviour of students, and parents were schooled on ways they can be welfare officers, social workers and teachers to their children.
She noted that parents were encouraged to build their children’s self-esteem by commending them for being disciplined, polite and taking their studies seriously. They were also urged to set high standards, be good role models to their children, and channel their criticisms to the behaviour of the child and not directly to the child.
Benn used the opportunity to call on parents to monitor the behaviours and performances of their children by paying regular visits to the school they attend.
The lively, informative and highly interactive discussions concluded with a session on safe sex, which was designed to enlighten parents about healthy lifestyle practices and to raise HIV/AIDS awareness.
During the month, Benn also met with parents, teachers and students of the Linden Foundation Secondary to iron out ways to stem the disciplinary problems there.
The meeting included representatives from the Guyana Teachers’ Union and the Region 10 administration, and an agreement was made for the region’s Education Committee to meet with parents on a monthly basis, and with parents, teachers and students on a quarterly basis.
Apart from responding to the disciplinary problems, the education officials also provided clarification on queries from parents on the remediation, Secondary School Competency Certificate and other programmes.
Education Minister Shaik Baksh had repeatedly emphasised that parents are the weak link in their children’s education, and stressed that the Ministry of Education will not rest until all parents recognize and embrace the importance of education in their children’s development and the development of the country.
In addition to parental involvement in their children’s education, he said that more Guidance and Counselling Officers will be placed in the school system to make schools more violent-free environments.
Baksh also pointed out that more attention is being given to physical education, drama, dance and sports in school to produce students and adults who are well rounded.