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Call for parents to attend workshop

Call for parents to attend workshop

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Unless the parents of many ill disciplined, underachieving students are reached and are given the support they desperately need, a few hundred potential criminals and drug dealers may be unleashed on society, in the not so distant future.{{more}}

This is according to a Ministry of Education official here.

Dunstan Johnson is the project manager of the OECS Education Development Programme here, and he expressed his

concerns about the “parenting assistance” aspect of the “Improved Student Support” element of the multi-faceted, $25.5 million project.

The parenting assistance aspect is geared towards lending support and sharpening the skills of the parents of students that are habitually ill-disciplined and/or are underachieving academically.

Johnson told SEARCHLIGHT recently that while they hoped to touch the lives of 720 parents, the project may only impact 50 per cent of that amount, and admits that “it is really disappointing.”

“The thing is those parents who don’t come to the workshops, their children are the ones who are going to become school drop-outs, violent criminals, start dealing or using drugs, and that is worrying,” a concerned Johnson said.

He highlighted a point that was also raised by Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves on Sunday, December 2, at the Unity Labour Party (ULP) Women’s Arm Conference: that the parents who generally don’t need the help are coming to the workshops, while those who desperately need the intervention can’t be bothered.

When he addressed the women’s conference, Dr Gonsalves admonished the ULP women to work within their various neighbourhoods to try and urge the parents who are being targeted to participate.

The ULP political leader said that with the advent of the “education revolution”, there is a wider net of boys coming into the school system; many of them not having sufficient guidance about how they should deal with interpersonal relationships and conflict resolution.

Johnson told SEARCHLIGHT that the schools from which the parents are being drawn are attesting to what was suspected; that once trained, parents are better able to guide their children, and those children are more likely to make adjustments in their attitude and behaviour.

He said that painstaking efforts have been made to get parents out to these workshops, including home visits, but it has been a rough road getting these parents to see the importance of the workshops to them, and the long term benefits to the country, as efforts are made to stem the worsening crime situation.

The parenting assistance aspect is broken up into four sets of workshops, each set targeting six schools, with five, three hour interactive sessions.

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