Play your part

Dr. Tim Gopeesingh.

PORT OF SPAIN — As 250,000 students in early childhood, primary and secondary schools begin the new school term today, Education Minister Dr Tim Gopeesingh says the country is suffering from a crisis in parenting.

“Parents, please remember that without your commitment to your children’s education and personal development, our society is in danger of losing even more of our young people to crime and violence,” he said in a statement yesterday.

“We suffer a crisis in parenting at this time and the time has come for you to recommit to your duties and responsibilities to your children.”

President of the National Parent/Teacher Association, Zena Ramatali, who agreed with the minister, said parents must also advocate for the rights of their children. She said parents must speak out when schools were in disrepair and when there was a lack of resources.

“Parents must also teach their children to be kind to others and therefore not to bully other children because what the learn at home they would practise at school,” Ramatali said.

“Parents must also ensure that children do not willfully damage school property.”

She said she was “horrified” by what some children wrote in the toilets and on the walls of schools.

Urging parents to build stronger bonds with their children, Gopeesingh called on them to talk to their children about their lives, problems, interests and their emotions. A critical part of parenting, Gopeesingh said, was ensuring that children were properly supervised at all times.

“Let them know they are subject to strong boundaries and discipline… And above all, let them know that you love and care for them.” (Guardian)

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