Parents' support overwhelming for opening day of school year
Jodi-Ann Gilpin, Gleaner Writer
The laughter could not go unnoticed, nor could the tears and curiosity on the faces of parents and students alike as they made their way to various schools in the Corporate Area and St Catherine yesterday.
Parents determined to see their children settled in school at the start of the new academic year turned up in large numbers. Some teachers were impressed, saying parents' support was outstanding.
"This morning we were wondering if we had more parents than teachers," said Royton McLaren, guidance counsellor at Denham Town Primary School in Kingston. "The support has been great from guardians right across the board and we believe that's a good sign for us. We hope it continues throughout the year."
Beverley Harris, vice-principal of Bridgeport High School in St Catherine, echoed similar sentiments, adding that she was looking forward to a great year.
"Parents have turned out in their numbers to make final adjustments for the official start tomorrow (today). We have parents in the front office now assisting us, and so, though we don't expect things to be normal for a couple days, we can't report of anything alarming happening," he said.
Some parents told The Gleaner they had to be there for their children.
Mavalyn Williams, who accompanied her two children to Denham Town Primary School, said she always looks forward to the start of the school year.
"The preparation period rough, the books dem very expensive, and everything increase, but I'm feeling really good this morning because the hard work paid off," said the mother of five children who lives in Denham Town, a gritty Kingston community.
"It's really a good feeling to see them this morning. I want to make sure that they adjust fine and meet their teachers and I have to give them a kiss," she declared.
Similarly Edward Hewitt, who resides in Tivoli Gardens, said supporting his four children was a must.
"I can't teach them, so I have to make every effort to send them to the experts," he said with a smile.
"I understand that education is the only way out of the ghetto, and so even though things get expensive, school is a must. I always check the books and that will never stop. I'll do my best to support them," he said.
Minister of Education Ronald Thwaites was also pleased with the start of the school year.
"I noticed a shortage of furniture at one school and also there was a mishap with the supply of books at another school, but that will be addressed certainly before the week ends. There are many rivers to cross, but I can't say there was anything alarming, which I am grateful for," he said.
"I am happy with the turnout of the fathers especially. I have seen a large number of men accompanying their children, which is a sign of progress for the country. The spark in the eyes of the parents is amazing and I just want to implore them to continue the great work," he said.