The encouragement was shared during Tuesday’s (November 12, 2019) Help-a-Child Primary School Scholarship Awards Ceremony, which Dr. Harris founded 16 years ago.
Prime Minister Harris told the students, teachers, parents and other officials that attended the ceremony at the Estridge Moravian Church in Mansion, that “The lessons our students learn from their homes, from you the parents are critically important for forming the good morals that allow our young people to become good citizens.”
There are many supporting documents and research that point to the value of parental support. For instance, The Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Education Reform Unit published a Research Report in 2006 entitled: A Comprehensive Study of School Discipline Issues in the OECS. It notes that “In all focus groups, parental lack of control was seen as the main reason for discipline problems, where too many absent parents are leaving children to raise themselves. Appropriate guidance is seen as especially important during the formative years …
The report adds that “Concern was expressed by many stakeholders about the lack of structure and supervision in children’s lives and that they have too many privileges too early. Lack of religious guidance was also mentioned as contributing to the lack of a frame of reference for children. Problems are perceived in the way parents relate to and interact with their children around school issues: that parents talk down to their children and not with them, that they do not listen to their children, and that they do not spend quality time with pupils, equating material possessions with love. Teenage parents are unable to pass on family values.”
Prime Minister Harris strongly urged the parents at the 16th Annual Help-a-Child ceremony to stay engaged and informed in all matters relating to their child/children.
“You the parents and guardians who are here must stand every day in support of your [children], their schools, and a better quality of life for these students,” Dr. Harris stated.
One hundred and forty students from Constituency 7 in St. Kitts, which stretches from Ottley’s to Belle Vue, each received a bursary of $500 from the prime minister. The 140 recipients represent the highest total ever to benefit from this programme in a single year.