An impassioned plea has gone out to parents and guardians to provide a strong support system for their children and ensure that they aim high, not only academically but in all worthwhile pursuits.

Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Cynthia Forde, made this call yesterday to a number of parents attending the closing ceremony of the Ministry of Education’s summer school at the St. Leonard’s Secondary School.

She told them that their role was to uplift the children and to help them reach their true potential. Noting that children needed a chance to find their niche in life, she chided those parents who discouraged their children from pursuing their interests.

Ms. Forde also advised parents to pay special attention to the dietary and physical well-being of their children since, as she put it: “children need good care as well as good rest and exercise”. Pointing out that the inclusion of both was vital in ensuring a well rounded child, she lamented that the introduction of modern technologies had given rise to many children spending more time indoors with computers and video games and less time enjoying outdoor activities.

Parents were also told that they needed to monitor what their children watched on television since, “if they are to study, their minds must be clean and pure and you should be there to make sure that whatever your children watch is acceptable and  wholesome”, she stressed.

Minster Forde invited the adults present to share their knowledge with the children and seek to get back to the old ways of living. She opined that the children could benefit from the kind of discipline that was instilled “in the good, old days”.

She also urged them to set aside some ‘quality time’ to spend with their wards and to speak with them more often, as she pleaded for consistency with their rules and regulations, since all these factors were important to the overall development of the children.

This year’s summer school programme catered to 204 students. Of these, 158 had been deferred from writing the Barbados Secondary Schools’ Entrance Examination (Common Entrance), while the remaining 46 comprised nine year olds who would have taken the Ministry’s criterion referenced test. The students were drawn from both public and private primary schools. 

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