More parents need to get involved in the ‘difficult process’ of their children’s transition from primary to secondary school, said Minister of People Empowerment and Elder Affairs Cynthia Forde.
In her featured address at the orientation of the fourth instalment of the Transition to Secondary Schools (T2S) 2018 programme, Forde contended that early intervention was the best prevention.
She advocated for parents to be integrated into the programme for new students, which is coordinated by the National HIV/AIDS Commission.
The programme, which is facilitated at the 22 public secondary schools across the nation, focuses on five topics – Drug Awareness; Bullying and Conflict; HIV/STI Prevention; Gender Issues and Human Sexuality. These topics are then discussed at interactive workshops for new first form students.
“Parents and guardians have an integral part to play in guiding them [children] to be the best citizens that they can be. When a parent is empowered, a household is empowered, a community is empowered, a whole society is empowered,” Forde stressed.
“This T2S transformation could include a similar session geared towards these parents and guardians and mentors. it could be expditated through the Parent Teacher Associations (PTAs),” the former educator added.
Forde suggested that a change in behavior could only be initiated through cohesive action by parents, teachers and the wider society. Referring to incidents of school violence that occurred last year, Forde argued the Government would not allow its future generation to be implode.
“The Government of Barbados will not allow any of our children to be left behind and therefore you are to help us in saving our nation’s children. Our people are really our only natural resource and we must do everything… to be able to make sure we provide a proper pathway… for our children. The work must be done today in moulding them into decent diligent citizens who will pass on only positive qualities to the next generation,” she emphasized.
Also in attendance was Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Technological and Vocational Training Senator Dr Romel Springer who expressed concern about the reported high levels on unprotected sex among the youth.
“From ongoing reports, it is clear that unprotected sexual relations among youth are regrettably still taking place at an early age, sometimes leading to early pregnancy and induced abortions in often hazardous circumstances.
It has also resulted in transmitted infections and HIV. These developments negatively impact on the young individual, the family, the community and then on society in general,” he revealed. (KK)