A standardised protocol will need to be developed in collaboration with stakeholders in education, if the issue of inappropriate dressing by parents while on school premises is to be tackled.
Minister of Education, Science, Technology and innovation, Ronald Jones, alluded to this last Friday while speaking to the media, following the official opening of New Horizons School at Pine Hill, St. Michael.
???I heard the comments of the president of APPSP [Association of Public Primary School Principals] and I must say that I support his general view and principles espoused,??? Mr. Jones said.
He was referring to President of APPSP, Ivan Clarke, who had earlier in the school term referred to the inappropriate dress by some parents and noted that principals had agreed that a policy needed to be put in place to prevent people coming to school compounds inappropriately dressed.
Contending that school was a place of business, Mr. Jones noted that people could not enter the law courts or any other business wearing the kind of clothing they did when going to schools.
???I have to go in appropriately and demurely dressed. The school system must demand the same. Do not come off the streets as though you???ve just come from a place of ill repute; as though you care nothing about the standards of the school; as though you have no respect or regard for your children there.
???No! So, within the context of that discussion, that kind of language, which speaks to decorum of all persons visiting the school, that will have our strongest support,??? he stressed.
Acknowledging that both the Education Act and the Public Service Act spoke to a code of dress for teachers, the former educator said the Ministry would have to sit with the National Council of Parent Teacher Associations and other institutions to devise an appropriate standard of dress for parents.
However, he lamented that it should have to come to this, saying: ???Unfortunately you always have to end up with some kind of protocol when people should be looking at self-regulation, and know that your children are trying to develop good perspectives, good behaviours [and] good attitudes. And, dress is part of that whole rubric, that whole wider pathway.???
He added that the society was ???changing??? and ???misbehaving???, the education Minister pointed out that with that being the case, people had to ???upright the structures to ensure that normal behaviour can be conducted and can be carried out???.