It should not be left to Government to raise Barbadian children, nor is it the responsibility of the church or the school, says Parliamentary Secretary in the Minister of Education Senator Harry Husbands.
In an address last Saturday to the annual general meeting of the Barbados National Council of Parent-Teacher Associations (NCPTA), Husbands lashed out at parents who leave it to institutions and individuals to raise their children, while playing minimal role in the offspring’s upbringing.
“Yes the school is important, yes the work that teachers do is important, yes there are delinquent teachers, but all of those things you can recover from. You cannot depend on your parliamentary representative, you cannot depend on the church, you cannot depend on the school.
“There are these summer camps that Government sponsors, that should be the very last resort. There are parents in this country who wouldn’t take their vacation or part of their vacation during the summer time, they prefer to send the [children] to camps. Do we want our children to be raised by the Government? Whether it is mine or the other one, do we really want that for our children?” Husbands asked.
“We as parents are called to perform these duties. Anything that Government does, your church does, anything that PAREDOS does, anything your parliamentary representative does, is extra. That’s the icing on the cake. But that can’t be the first point of reference in the rearing of your children . . . we have to stand up and take responsibility.”
The Government spokesman on education linked deviance among students to the absence of proper parenting.
He backed up this assertion by pointing to information gathered by the Students Services section of the Ministry of Education.
“I go to them every now and again to find out what are the current challenges and so on, and they say to me repeatedly that whenever they have challenges with children in the school system, somehow, it always goes back to parents. Parents are absent from too many children’s lives,” he said.
Husbands told the NCPTA he had been “extremely disobedient” as a student, but with the intervention of his parents, he was able to make something of himself.
“Let me say at school I was extremely disobedient, and I have said repeatedly, and I wish I had said this in the presence of my father, that not for the grace of God, my parents, if not for them, I would not be standing in front of you today, with the title I have, the position I have, the experience I have. Regrettably, sometimes it’s only as an adult that we recognize this,” he said.