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Portia moots national school bus system
2012-09-11 16:39:25 | (0 Comments)
Daraine Luton, Senior Staff Reporter
Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller - file photo.
Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller today disclosed that Education Minister Ronald Thwaites and Transport, Works and Housing Minister Dr Omar Davies have been tasked to consider the possibility of a national school bus system.
It is part of an approach the Prime Minister feels will offer more protection for children.
Speaking in the House of Representatives today on its resumption from the summer recess, the prime minister said "too many of our children are getting raped."
She called the perpetrators of crimes against children worthless, and said the full force of the law should be brought against them.
The Prime Minister was contributing to the debate on the National Parenting Support Commission Act.
Education Minister Ronald Thwaites opened debate on the bill saying it was most important.
The bill serves to give power to the National Parenting Policy which was tabled in Parliament last year by then education minister Andrew Holness.
In opening the debate, Thwaites said social legislation, like the National Parenting Support Commission bill, are important in every society, especially during times of financial hardships.
He also urged parents to take responsibility for their actions.
"Being a parent is the most important role that any adult can play in Jamaica," the education minister said.
Thwaites also said it is an indictment on the Parliament not to have done the necessary legislative work to make it mandatory for the names of fathers to be on the birth certificates of their children.
Simpson Miller noted that many young men are playing their roles as parents.
However, she said more needs to be done.
"The fathers need to step up now. They shared the enjoyment, they need to accept the responsibility," she said.
She said when parents fail in their responsibilities it places additional burden on the State and support groups such as the church.
In the meantime, Holness said there are no universally accepted standards of parenting in Jamaica.
He said where it used to exist, those standards have been broken down.
Holness argued that the vacuum means that the State, through the National Parenting Commission, is now required to bring stakeholders together to cure the issue of poor parenting.
Source: The Gleaner/Power 106 News
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