As school and State officials bemoan the growing evidence of weaknesses in the upbringing of children, the National Parenting Support Commission - an offshoot of the Ministry of Education - is to create a parenting curriculum.
Commission chairman Dr Patrece Charles Freeman last week made the disclosure during a meeting with officials of the Ministry of Education and journalists.
"I am actually quite excited to say we just established a technical planning committee to put together a national parenting curriculum, which will consist of courses that will address specific issues," declared Charles Freeman, who was responding to questions about the number of persons having children they cannot afford to support.
"A part of the technical planning committee is the National Family Planning Board; we are concerned that individuals are having children they are not prepared to have and so as part of our workshop programme, the issue of responsible behaviour is going to be promoted.
"And we are also going to be targeting our teenagers and children in schools," said Charles Freeman.
She said the parenting curriculum would be informed by and complement the 30 "parent places" already operational in schools in several parishes across the island.
The parent places provide "one-stop-shop" information to help individuals become better parents.
parent places established
In the meantime, Education Minister Ronald Thwaites said the parent places have been established in the ministry's regions one, four and six.
Region One covers Kingston and St Andrew, Region Four includes St James, Hanover and Westmoreland, and Region Six covers St Catherine and Clarendon.
"The roll-out of the parenting places will multiply in the ensuing months," declared Thwaites.
He said the one-stop shop is a place where individuals can access parenting information. They will also provide courses for workshops and mutual support from other parents.
According to Thwaites, where resources and creativity allow, other needed and desirable activities such as social and recreational family activities, counselling and income-support training activities for parents' economic improvement will also be provided at these parent places.