Minister of Education, Ronald Jones????

"Fatherhood in the Neighbourhood", the recently published book by Barbadian author Lloyd Springer, comes highly recommended for reading, by this country???s Education Ministry.??

This follows a presentation to Minister of Education, Ronald Jones and Minister of State in the Ministry, Patrick Todd, last week.

A sociologist, counsellor and Deputy Director of the National Disabilities Unit, Mr. Springer explained that it was through his own experience of being the product of a relationship where his dad had fathered 12 children from nine women, that was the impetus of his investigation into the subject.

In recommending the book to the public and young men in particular, Minister Jones told the story of his own grandfather having 26 children.

He said: ???There is a history and a dynamic. There have been people in courtships that found that they were close family and that has led to tears, embarrassment and problems and always it is the children who suffer.???

Mr. Jones encouraged the author to continue his investigation by probing into the experiences of mothers and children in the neighbourhood.

The Education Minister added: ???I hope young men and women will get the opportunity to read it and support our authors, especially someone like you who has a background of solid research and knowledge about the working class neighbourhood.???

Meanwhile, Minister Todd, noted that the publication would augment the West Indies Collection at the Cave Hill Campus. He said it was ???very commendable when West Indian people make a tangible commitment and put pen to paper and write??? since this discipline was practised in developed countries moreso than in developing nations.

Acknowledging that the text would help individuals to understand fatherhood and relationships between parents and children in Barbados, Mr. Todd expressed pleasure that today???s working class young men could be seen taking their children to school when women were unable to do so.

???So that we may not see the stereotyping of men as proliferating and reproducing indiscriminately, without taking responsibility for the upbringing of their children. This?? cannot now be seen as the only reality,??? he surmised.

The text, on fatherhood, is based on interviews and surveys of some 50 boyfriends and husbands who were non-residential, working men. It was launched earlier this month with a presentation at the Ministry of Social Care, in Warrens, St. Michael??jgill@barbados.gov.bb

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