Daraine Luton, Senior Staff Reporter
Education Minister Ronald Thwaites said the country's leaders should take a firm stand on parental responsibility.
"Our advertisements that Government supports must encourage faithful relationship between men and women, between fathers and mothers."
According to Thwaites, who was opening the debate on the National Parenting Commission Support Act, "this notion of just pushing condom use is not good enough".
"The adage that you must bat but you must not score is a socially negative attitude. What you need is to cultivate relationships between men and women despite their social conditions," Thwaites said.
He urged parents to take responsibility for their actions saying, "Being a parent is the most important role that any adult can play in Jamaica".
Thwaites also said it is an indictment on the Parliament not to have done the necessary legislative work to make it mandatory for the names of fathers to be on birth certificates.
In the meantime, Opposition Leader Andrew Holness said there are no universally accepted standard of parenting in Jamaica. He said where it used to exist those standards have been broken down.
Cure the issue
Holness argues that the vacuum means that the State, through the National Parenting Commission, is now required to bring stakeholders together to cure the issue of poor parenting.
"This piece of legislation will be quite significant and influential in changing the dynamics of the Jamaican society," Holness said.
He added: "Our focus on the macro-economics is not sufficient for the development of the society... . Parenting is part of micro-social, psychosocial issues that influence the functions of production."