A two-day parenting workshop at the Uitvlugt Community Centre in Region Three focused on issues such as positive parenting, alternative forms of discipline, teenage pregnancy and truancy.
National Parent Teachers Association (PTA) Coordinator Carol Benn said significant attention was also given to the dress code and unacceptable behaviour of students, while parents were schooled on the ways in which they can be welfare officers, social workers and teachers to their children, a release from the Ministry of Education said.
Benn also 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 to channel their criticisms to the behaviour of the child and not directly to the child.
In the meantime, Benn used the opportunity to call on parents to monitor the behaviour and performance of their children by paying regular visits to the school they attend.
According to the release, the “lively, informative and highly interactive discussions” concluded with a session on safe sex which was geared to enlighten the participants on healthy lifestyle practices and raise HIV/AIDS awareness.
During the month, the National PTA Coordinator also met with parents, teachers and students of the Linden Foundation Secondary to iron out ways to stem disciplinary problems there.
That 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 clarifications to queries from parents on the remediation, Secondary School Competency Certificate and other progarammes.
Education Minister Shaik Baksh had emphasised that parents were the weak link in their children’s education and stressed that the Ministry of Education would not rest until all parents recognized and embraced the importance of education in their children’s development and the development of the country.
Parents, he was reported as saying, could also do simple things to improve the learning outcomes of their children such as reading to them, making sure that they did their homework, attended school regularly and punctually and monitored their behaviour both in and out of school.
In addition to parental involvement in their children’s education, he said that more guidance and counselling officers would be placed in the school system to help make schools violent-free environments.
Baksh also pointed out that more attention was being given to Physical Education, Drama, Dance and Sports in school to produce rounded students in the school system, the release concluded.