Minister of State in the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development, Patrick Todd (FP)????

The recently elected executive of the National Council for Parent Teacher Associations (NCPTA) is being encouraged to be an advocate on behalf of the children of Barbados.??This can be achieved through engaging in meaningful discussions on curriculum issues and serving as a support group to help parents understand their role in the business of education.??

The advice has come from Minister of State in the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development, Patrick Todd. He was speaking at the installation service for the NCPTA executive last weekend at the Bethlehem Moravian Church, Maxwell, Christ Church.

"Through this body it is expected that the message on the benefits of education to individual and national development will be reinforced.?? Additionally, through your association with parents and teachers, I envisage that you will assist in the identification of the current challenges confronting the youth of this nation and that you will partner with civil society in providing viable solutions," he stated.

Demonstrating Government’s willingness to assist with the work of the NCPTA, Minister Todd added: "Our Ministry has pledged financial support of BDS $25,000.?? This grant is another aspect of our Ministry’s contribution towards assisting the NCPTA in achieving its objectives".??????

Parents were also advised to pay closer attention to their children’s education at all stages of their schooling.?? "Parents, you should not only be interested in your children’s education when they reach class 4 and the Common Entrance Examination is on the horizon. You must get involved in every aspect of their school life – get to know their friends, observe the behaviours they are displaying and monitor their extra curricula and physical activities.

"…parents you must set aside quality time to assist with the education of your children.?? You must patiently listen to them as they air their concerns, reason with them, dialogue with them and in general, provide a nurturing and caring environment which allows for teaching and learning to continue beyond the boundaries of the school," he stressed.

Mr. Todd also encouraged them to be "one step ahead of children" in the area of technology in an effort to neutralise the dangers presented by media and social networking sites such as "Twitter" and "Facebook".

Members of the executive of the NCPTA are: President, Rhonda Blackman, teacher at the Sharon Primary School; First Vice President, Andrew Greene (Harrison College, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, NULL, NULL, 0); Second Vice President, Peter Burgess (St. Paul’s Primary, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, NULL, NULL, 0); General Secretary, Reverend Winston Jones (Olga Millar Nursery, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, NULL, NULL, 0); Treasurer, Ricardo Vickers (Charles F. Broome), Assistant Secretary/Treasurer, Rueben Sealy (St. James Secondary) and Public Relations Officer Donna Sealy (Deacon’s Primary).

The five council members are Erwin Jones, (Charles F. Broome), Shone Gibbs (Wesley Hall Junior), Marlyn Olton (St. Judes Primary), Nicholas Maynard, (St. Stephens Primary) and Malcolm Leacock (St. Andrew Primary).

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