Parents need to get involved
Dr Grace McLean, chief education officer in the Ministry of Education, has underscored the need for parents to be involved in the lives of their children.
McLean, who was guest speaker at the launch of the second phase of the Re-birth project on Saturday, said that evidence continues to show that children who have wholesome parental support achieve better results in school.
"Sometimes you get the impression that parents forget that they have a responsibility, because they believe that it is the teachers who should embark on caring for their children, and while teachers should carry out their jobs with love, a mother and father are the only ones who can give the kind of love that a child needs," she told the gathering at the Spanish Court Hotel.
"I am not trying to ignore the fact that parenting is difficult. As a mother, I know that it can be very challenging, but we have to be there for our children. It doesn't matter what your circumstances are, children must be cared for," she said.
She also encouraged children to develop attitudes of self-defiance and determination, adding that great things can come from the inner-city.
"I'm not scoffing at any occupation, but don't think that because your mother sells at the market, you have to do the same thing. The challenges might be overwhelming, but nothing comes easy, and you can achieve great things. Your living conditions or address has nothing to do with your destiny," McLean declared.
Noting that there have been successes in the first phase, co-founder of the Re-birth project, Melody Cammock- Gayle, pointed out that this second phase will carry with it more interactive activities.
"One of the lessons we learnt was that you cannot talk to them [participants] too long, you have to ensure that there are adequate activities to keep them occupied, and so this year, we will have a lot of field trips and interactive sessions," she told The Gleaner.
"We have to create an avenue through which they expand their horizons and dream big, and we are expecting great things."