Wed | Dec 7, 2016

Ditch donkey hair and school your children - Thwaites

Published:Tuesday | September 2, 2014 | 12:00 AM

MANDEVILLE, Manchester:just a day into the new school year and with complaints about the cost of school books and bus fares coming even before that, Minister of Education Ronald Thwaites is appealing to parents to take education and child welfare more seriously.

Thwaites said that 30 per cent of early childhood students went to school hungry, and though, as of September 1 into 2015, breakfast and lunch would be provided to this cohort, some parents must start living up to their parental duties.

"First responsibility for the children is not the Government; it's your child, and the priority for the children must come before anything else. It must come before bleaching cream, donkey hair (hair extensions), before phonecard - the children must come first," he declared.

"Jamaica has to be more than a country that can run fast and sing and dance. Those are good things, but if we want to be prosperous, we have to balance those things with our own progress, our own strength in every science and art known to human kind," Thwaites said.

He was delivering the main address at the Central Manchester constituency conference Sunday evening at the Manchester High School. He said that technical training was another area of education that needed much attention.

"... We now have to educate according to what the marketplace demands. It's a new world, and that is why we are introducing technical and vocational subjects called STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) as a centrepiece of education from primary right up."

- T.B.