Children should enjoy their childhood - Dr Maurice Smith
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Dr Maurice Smith, has said children should be given a chance to enjoy their childhood and not be preyed upon or be forced into doing things well beyond their age.
He was addressing an appreciation service for two former educators of the Breadnut Hill Primary School, held at the Assemblies of the First Born in Colgate, St Ann, last week.
Smith further noted that adults have a responsibility to ensure that children are taught the merits of good values and attitudes at a young age.
"We have to be responsible role models. We have to carry ourselves well. We have to teach our children that there is a right way and a wrong way, and that a good education is the only way to guarantee a positive future," Smith stated.
He further noted that every student has a special gift and every opportunity should be afforded to them to develop that talent into something meaningful.
Meanwhile, Smith stated that persons in the teaching profession should have a passion for the job.
"Teachers have a responsibility to the children under their care. If they find they are at a stage where they can't teach or treat each child under their care fairly, then maybe it's time to submit that resignation. Teaching is a passion. It is something that comes with love. It is something that comes with caring. We have to ensure that our children are not short-changed," he stated.
The permanent secretary also praised the "great work" being done by most Jamaican teachers, noting that it was by no coincidence that they are in demand worldwide. He also highlighted the sacrifices made by teachers, often "under very trying circumstances".
"They persevere year in and year out. As a country, we are grateful for their love ... for their passion and their professionalism," Smith said.