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Nation's children need more - PTA head

Published:Saturday | May 1, 2010 | 12:00 AM

With crime continuing to rear its ugly head at the nation's children, the National Parent-Teacher Association of Jamaica urged individuals to play a more active role in giving children what they need to grow into productive members of society.

In a Child Month message, Miranda Sutherland, president of the association, made a desperate plea for help for the vulnerable group in society.

"From the scorching fires we hear them, from the wounds of weapons and deadening screams from rape and ill-treatment come the voices of our children this Child Month in the theme 'All I Want is a Chance to Grow Up'," the association head said.

"Are we just hearing? Or, are we listening? When we listen, we engage our consciousness and then take action. It is now time for action."

become united force

She said in order for parents to enjoy the successes of their children, they should become a more united force against the things that could prevent them from achieving their fullest potential.

There continues to be an overwhelming attack on the children in society.

Up to April 25, 19 children had been killed, with similar figures over the same period last year.

The latest child attack occurred on Thursday in Montego Bay, St James, when a five-year-old girl was shot and killed in Glendevon after thugs opened fire on the vehicle in which she was travelling to school with her father and her eight-year-old sister.

dramatic increase

Abuse against children is also rampant, as startling figures from the Office of the Children's Registry (OCR) showed a dramatic increase in child abuse.

Since 2007, a little more than 12,000 reports of child abuse were recorded by the registry. Of this number, 6,000 reports were received in 2009.

Since the start of the year, the office has already received more than 1,600 reports.

Sutherland called on parents to boost their efforts to care for children.

"Parents, know that it is our responsibility, first, to ensure that our children are cared for. Make careful plans for them. Teach them genuine love in a safe place," she beseeched.

Sutherland said the theme for Child Month was necessary and fitting and was likely to yield positive results.

nadisha.hunter@gleanerjm.com